Lung cancer screening is recommended for high-risk groups using a CT (computerized tomography) scan. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for people 55-80 who:

  • Currently smoke

  • Previously smoked and have quit within the last 15 years

  • Have a history of more than 30 pack years (e.g. 1 pack-per day for 30 years or 2 packs-per day for 15 years)


If you are considering screening for lung cancer, talk to your doctor so you have a clear understanding of the process.  With lung cancer screening, sometimes a scan will show a spot that is not actually cancer. This is called a false positive. There is a very high false positive rate in lung cancer screening, so it is important to work closely with your health care team and to be followed over time. 

Updated March 11, 2015