Recommended Screening Tests based on my Cancer History

Several groups, including ASCO, provide recommendations for lung cancer screening.Screening for lung cancer is done with a test called a low-dose helical or spiral computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. An x-ray machine is used to take photographs of the inside of the body during a CT scan. The images are then stitched together by a computer into a detailed, three-dimensional image that reveals any abnormalities or tumors.

CT scanning is not recommended for every person who smokes. The current recommendations are discussed below. It is also important to receive screening at an approved and experienced center. Lung cancer screening is approved by Medicare.

ASCO's recommendations are based on a person's age and how much they smoke. This number called a "pack-year" is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes or 1 pack each day for a year. ASCO recommends the following lung cancer screening schedules for people who currently smoke or who have quit smoking:

  • Yearly screening with a low-dose CT scan is recommended for people age 55 to 74 who have smoked for 30 pack-years or more. It is also recommended for those aged 55 to 74 who have quit within the past 15 years.

  • CT screening is not routinely recommended for people who have smoked for less than 30 pack-years, are younger than 55 or older than 74, have quit smoking more than 15 years ago, or have a serious condition that could affect cancer treatment or shorten a person's life.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that people age 55 to 80 who have smoked for 30 pack-years or more or who have quit within the past 15 years receive screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT scans each year. Screening can stop after a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that would shorten their life or prevent them from being able to have surgery for lung cancer.

Reference - Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell - Screening. (2020, May 28). Retrieved from