The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) has released updated lung cancer guidelines, which recommend offering low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scanning to people who are at higher risk of developing lung cancer.
“Our new lung cancer guidelines take into account the many advances and new information in the field by providing comprehensive and nuanced recommendations related to prevention, screening, diagnosis, staging, and medical and surgical treatments,” Guideline Panel Chair, W. Michael Alberts, MD, MBA, FCCP, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL., said in a news release.
According to ACCP’s guidelines, smokers and former smokers age 55-74 with more than 30 pack-years of smoking should be offered low-dose CT screening. This is a clear change from the 2007 version of the guidelines, in which evidence that showed the importance of CT screening in reducing lung cancer deaths was not yet available.
The guidelines clearly indicated that CT screening should not be given to individuals with less than 30 pack-years of smoking; younger than 55 or older than 74; and those suffering from severe diseases in addition to a primary disease or disorder.
“Lung cancer screening offers a potential benefit for select individuals, but it is not a substitute for stopping smoking,” explained Frank Detterbeck, MD, FCCP, Yale University, New Haven, CT, and Vice-Chair of the Guidelines Panel.
Detterbeck added that the guidelines are also meant to educate both the patient and the physician about the screening in order to overcome misconceptions and misguided fears.
In addition to CT scanning, the guidelines underscore advances in treatment, including the benefits of minimally invasive surgery and treatment at specialized centers.