IASLC Statement on the Updated United States Preventive Task Force Guidelines on Lung Cancer Screening

IASLC Statement on the Updated United States Preventive Task Force Guidelines on Lung Cancer Screening

Press Release
Mar 09, 2021

Chris Martin, IASLC Media Relations | [email protected] | 630-670-2745

The IASLC supports the recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to lower the age to start lung cancer screening and to reduce the minimum number of pack years of cigarette smoking to recommend screening.  Such changes have the added benefit that more people of color and women who are at risk of lung cancer will be eligible for screening than under the 2013 guidelines.

The USPSTF Recommendation Statement was released in the Journal of the American Medical Association today and supports screening individuals aged 50 through 80 years of age with a 20 pack-year or more smoking exposure. These changes will result in more lives saved and reduce disparities in screening related to sex and race/ethnicity. Research presented at the recent IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer meeting also found that the 2013 USPTFS guidelines were inadequate regarding people of color, women and, though not addressed in the new guidelines, those who develop lung cancer who have never smoked. 

IASLC views this as an improvement in public health and marks a significant evolution that will lower mortality from lung cancer.

These new guidelines better account for the realization that women and people of color tend to develop lung cancer earlier and with less tobacco exposure than do White men.

It is our hope that these improved guidelines will encourage more people who are at risk for lung cancer to seek screening and will, in turn, lead to better survival from the disease.

“These new guidelines are a big step forward and it will be critical to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of lung cancer screening and work to make screening available more broadly,” said Heather Wakelee, M.D., IASLC President-Elect. 

Lung cancer remains the deadliest cancer in the United States. More than 131,880 Americans will die from lung cancer in 2021. However, great strides have been made in the last decade to reduce the lung cancer mortality rate and IASLC believes the new USPTFS recommendations will go a long way to continuing that positive trend.

About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes nearly 7,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit www.iaslc.org for more information.