Less Than One in 20 Eligible Adults Receives Lung Cancer Screening

By HealthDay Editors - Last Updated: December 8, 2020

Less than one in 20 eligible U.S. adults receives annual lung cancer screening (LCS) using low-dose computed tomography scans, with wide geographic variance in screening rates, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Stacey A. Fedewa, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the LCS rate and growth at the national and state level between 2016 and 2018 using data from the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Registry.

The researchers found that nationally, the screening rate was steady between 2016 (3.3 percent) and 2017 (3.4 percent) and increased to 5 percent in 2018 (2018 versus 2016 screening rate ratio, 1.52). Several Southern states with a high lung cancer burden (e.g., Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas) had relatively low screening rates in 2018 (less than 4 percent) among eligible adults compared with Northeastern states with lower lung cancer burden but the highest screening rates (e.g., Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire: screening rate ratio range, 12.8 to 15.2 percent). Kentucky, which had the nation’s highest lung cancer mortality rate, also had one of the highest screening rates (13.7 percent).

“Deliberate effort from various stakeholders such as policy makers, cancer control, health systems, and providers [is] needed to boost lung cancer screening rates among eligible adults with a heavy smoking history, a group facing multiple barriers to lung cancer screening and cancer care,” the authors write.

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