The latest data about lung cancer screening
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the U.S., but it doesn’t need to be. Lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) makes it possible to detect the disease early when it is most treatable and even curable. Screening is a game changer and those who fit the current “high-risk” criteria, age 55-80 with a heavy smoking history, should consider getting screened.
Here are the facts and figures you and your loved ones should know about lung cancer screening.
- Lung cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate at only 18% compared to breast at 90%, prostate at 99%, and colorectal at 65%.
- The 5-year survival rate for lung cancer drops dramatically from a stage 1 diagnosis (68-92% survival) to a stage 4 diagnosis (0-10% survival).
- Lung cancer screening lasts about 10 minutes, while the low dose CT scan itself only takes a few seconds. Any abnormalities found in the image may require additional observation or tests.
- Medicare and most insurance plans cover individuals eligible for screening.
- In 2016, fewer than 2% of the eligible population (7 million) in the U.S. received lung cancer screening, despite it being accessible in over 1,800 facilities (per an abstract presented at the 2018 ASCO meeting).
- The screening rates in 2015 for breast was 50%, prostate 35%, and colorectal cancer 63% according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
- The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2017 there were 222,500 new cases of lung cancer and 156,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.
- Lung cancer accounts for 25% of all cancer deaths with breast at 14%, and prostate and colon at 8%.
- Early stage detection of lung cancer is when the disease is most treatable, and only 16% of the eligible population will be diagnosed at an early stage.
Low dose CT lung cancer screening is recommended by:
- Lung Cancer Alliance
- United States Preventive Services Task Force
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- National Lung Cancer Roundtable
Lung Cancer Screening Resources
- About Screening
- National Screening Centers of Excellence Network: Where to Get Screened
- What to Expect with Screening
- Understanding Screening
- Take this simple test to find out if you are eligible for screening
- History of Lung Cancer Screening
Ask your physician about low dose CT lung cancer screening, utilize patient resources, and join the army of survivors.