Lung Cancer Screening

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In 2015, 5.5% of adults aged 55-80 years who are at risk for lung cancer due to smoking had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year.

Summary graph for Lung Cancer Screening, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Lung cancer screening uses a type of chest computed tomography (CT), known as low radiation CT (LDCT), to create very detailed three-dimensional pictures of the lungs. Doctors use lung cancer screening for early detection of disease in former and current smokers who do not have symptoms.  Another name for LDCT is low-dose helical CT.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual LDCT screening for lung cancer in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history or more and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), a large randomized controlled trial, demonstrated that lung cancer screening with LDCT reduced the risk of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent in people of that age and with that smoking history.

Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer. Lung cancer screening is not a substitute for smoking cessation.

Measure

The percentage of men and women who reported having a chest CT to check for lung cancer in the 12 months prior to interview. Percentages are shown by race/ethnicity, income, and education level, and are restricted to respondents aged 55 to 80 years old who smoked at least 30 pack-years, and if former smokers, who quit within the past 15 years. The reason for the chest CT was not ascertained; therefore, percentages should be considered an upper bound on the prevalence of lung cancer screening in the US.  Smoking history was calculated using the methods of Doria-Rose VP et al (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Jul;21(7):1049-59).

Healthy People 2020 Target

There are no Healthy People 2020 targets for lung cancer screening.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2010–2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

By Sex

Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by sex, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by sex, 2010-2015 click for more details and datapoints Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 5.5 3.8 - 7.9
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 5.6 3.6 - 8.6
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 6.3 3.3 - 11.8

By Race/Ethnicity

Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by race/ethnicity, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by race/ethnicity, 2010-2015 click for more details and datapoints All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 5.5 3.8 - 7.9
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 6.2 4.1 - 9.2
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 6.8 3.2 - 13.6
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 0.7 0.1 - 4.6

By Poverty Income Level

Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by poverty income level, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by poverty income level, 2010-2015 click for more details and datapoints <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 5.2 3.3 - 8.2
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 6.2 3.7 - 10.2

By Education Level

Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults at risk for lung cancer due to smoking¹, aged 55-80 years, who had a CT scan to check for lung cancer within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2010-2015 click for more details and datapoints Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 4.2 2.3 - 7.6
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 8.3 5.0 - 13.5
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 5.0 2.4 - 10.0

Additional Information on Lung Cancer Screening

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

2010-2015

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2010-2015

Summary Tables

Breast and Cervical Cancers

Recent Summary Trend

Non-Significant Change

Desired Direction

Rising