Are You Eligible for a Lung Cancer Screening?
Take this quiz to understand the risk factors for lung cancer and if you or a loved one may be a candidate for a screening.
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"It’s better to know because then you have a fighting chance. And I have a lot that I’m willing to fight for."
Supermodel. Mother. Wife. Blogger.
“Don’t wait for something to happen, or to find something. I think that you have to act.”
Miguel Varoni & Catherine Siachoque
Actor and Actress. Husband and Wife.
"I think screening is so important from a health standpoint and so you can have that peace of mind."
Health enthusiast. Influencer. Entrepreneur.
"If you’re not going to get screened for you, do it for your loved ones because they get affected too."
Former White House Chef. Combat Veteran. Caregiver.
Select factors that increase your risk for lung cancer are:*
A history of smoking
Exposure to certain materials in the environment, such as radon gas, asbestos and secondhand smoke
A family history of lung cancer
Exposure to other materials that cause cancer like arsenic, chromium and nickel
*The above list does not include all risk factors for lung cancer
Who should get screened for lung cancer?
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine, sets guidelines for who should be screened for lung cancer. It recommends yearly screening for people who meet all three of the following criteria:
|Age 50-80 years old
|Smoke now, or have quit within the past 15 years
|Have at least a 20 pack year smoking history
What’s a pack year?
A pack year is the number of packs of cigarettes a person smoked per day, multiplied by the number of years they have smoked. For example, a person with 20 pack years could have smoked 1 pack a day for 20 years, or 2 packs a day for 10 years, or half a pack a day for 40 years, etc.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
The impact of lung cancer is not equal
Have the highest lung cancer death rate of any racial or ethnic group, with the probability of being diagnosed with lung cancer being approximately 1 in 16 for Black men and 1 in 20 for Black women.
Are 15% less likely to be diagnosed early and 25% less likely to survive five years after diagnosis when compared to non-Hispanic White Americans.
Know the common symptoms of lung cancer
Lung cancer symptoms may not always be present until the disease has spread. However, if you are at risk for lung cancer and experiencing any of the symptoms below, it’s important to speak with your doctor right away.
- A new cough that lasts more than three weeks or a cough that gets worse
- Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- A new or worsening shortness of breath
- A new onset of wheezing
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling very tired all the time
- Losing weight for no reason
- Loss of appetite
- Lung infections that don’t go away or keep coming back
The importance of earlier detection
Increased screening may help change these numbers
How do you get screened for lung cancer?
If you think you are at risk for lung cancer, talk to your doctor about whether screening is right for you. If your doctor recommends screening, they will order a low-dose CT (computed tomography) scan. This scan provides quality images using 90% less ionizing radiation than a standard CT scan.
|This scan uses an X-ray machine to take pictures of your lungs
|This scan only takes a few minutes, is not painful, and doesn’t involve any needles
|Your doctor can help you find a screening center or use this locator to search for a center near you
If your doctor recommends screening, don’t let fear stand in your way. Be open with your doctor so they can answer your questions to help you get more comfortable with the screening process and guide you through follow up appointments. Yearly lung cancer screening is an important step you can take if you are at high risk.
Lung cancer screening can make a big impact
Use these resources to learn more about lung cancer screening:
What you can expect during a lung cancer screening
Learn about the lung cancer screening process and how to prepare for your appointment.Download
What you need to know before talking to your doctor about lung cancer screening
Read tips about talking to your doctor so you feel prepared to have this important conversation.Download
Guide to insurance coverage for lung cancer screening
Learn about insurance coverage for annual lung cancer screenings and key questions to ask your insurance company.Download
Cut through the myths and get the facts
Discover what really matters when it comes to you, your health and understanding if you need a lung cancer screening.Download
Concerned about a loved one?
Get the information you need to guide loved ones through the important process of lung cancer screening.Download
More from our partners
Find a screening center near you
GO2 for Lung Cancer is dedicated to saving, extending, and improving the lives of those vulnerable, at risk, and diagnosed with lung cancer. Visit their website for more resources, including a screening center locator.
Learn more about early detection
The mission of the Lung Cancer Foundation of America is to improve survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science. Visit their website to watch a doctor’s perspective on why it’s important to detect lung cancer earlier.
Find out more about the increased risk for lung cancer among Black Americans
The mission of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation is to improve lung cancer outcomes by funding research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer. This page is designed specifically to help Black Americans better understand their risk for lung cancer and how to work with their doctor to get a screening.