The AAFP supports the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation for annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.
The AAFP has reviewed the evidence and has determined there is sufficient evidence to support a B recommendation for lung cancer screening in adults at increased risk. However, the AAFP acknowledges that the harms from annual screening with LDCT are not well documented at this time and that there are considerable barriers to screening for lung cancer in the community setting. Future research is needed to determine the harms of annual screening with LDCT including overdiagnosis, unnecessary procedures due to incidental findings, and barriers to care among communities of color. (2021)
These recommendations are provided only as assistance for physicians making clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients. As such, they cannot substitute for the individual judgment brought to each clinical situation by the patient's family physician. As with all clinical reference resources, they reflect the best understanding of the science of medicine at the time of publication, but they should be used with the clear understanding that continued research may result in new knowledge and recommendations. These recommendations are only one element in the complex process of improving the health of America. To be effective, the recommendations must be implemented.