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Criteria for lung cancer screening misses many Black smokers

Black smoker

Screening guidelines for lung cancer by the United States Preventive Services Task Force limit those eligible to smokers aged 55 to 80, who have a 30 pack–year smoking history and who quit no more than 15 years prior to screening.

However, this does not accurately reflect the smoking habits of Blacks or their susceptibility to lung cancer. A recent study found that these criteria would have identified only 32 percent of Blacks who went on the develop lung cancer, compared with 56 percent of whites.

See “Disparities in Meeting Eligibility Criteria for Lung Cancer Screening” by Kim L. Sandler et al. on the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer website (April 16, 2020)

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