Lung Cancer Screening Rates Inadequate in United States Despite USPSTF Recommendations

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Current literature reflects estimates, but not actual rates, of low-dose computed tomography adherence across the United States.
Current literature reflects estimates, but not actual rates, of low-dose computed tomography adherence across the United States.
The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor's conference coverage.

Despite the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) among at-risk patients, rates of screening remain low, according to an oral presentation to be presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday, June 1.1

The USPSTF recommended in 2013 that current or former smokers who quit in the past 15 years, are between the ages of 55 and 80, and have smoked at least 30 pack years undergo annual LDCT. Current literature reflects estimates, but not actual rates, of LDCT adherence across the United States.

For this study, researchers accessed data from the Lung Cancer Screening Registry (LCSR) to determine the total number of LDCTs performed in the United States in 2016, and compared them with estimates of all patients eligible for screening under the USPSTF recommendations from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Responders who had missing data or a history of lung cancer were excluded from the analysis.

Results showed that of the 7.6 million eligible smokers in 2016, only 141,260 (1.9%) underwent LDCT. Rates varied dependent on the region. The northeast had the highest rate of LDCT screening with 3.5% (40,105 of 1,152,141 eligible smokers). In the Midwest, 38,931 (1.9%) of 2,020,045 eligible smokers underwent screening, and in the South, only 47,966 (1.6%) of 3,072,095 underwent screening although it had the highest number of eligible smokers. The West had the lowest rate of screening, with just 14,080 (1.0%) of 1,368,694 patients completing screening.

Smoking cessation options were offered to approximately 85% of screened current smokers.

The authors concluded that “It remains unclear why the lung cancer screening rate is dramatically lower than other cancer screening modalities such as mammography and colonoscopy. Further initiatives are needed including awareness programs and mandating lung cancer screening as a national quality measure.”

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor's coverage of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 meeting by visiting the conference page.

Reference

  1. Pham D, Bhandari S, Oechsli M, et al. Lung cancer screening rates: data from the lung cancer screening registry. Oral presentation at: 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting; June 1-5, 2018; Chicago, IL.

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