CT scans recommended for smokers over 55

5:01 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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NBC NEWS - Smokers and former smokers over age 55 should be screened for lung cancer every year.

The final recommendation released by the Preventative Services Task Force states anyone between the ages of 55 and 80 who smokes or who used to be a heavy smoker should undergo a low-dose CT scan of the lungs.

A review of several studies shows these scans can spot lung cancer early in this high-risk benefits of the scans still outweigh the harms.

Smoking causes 85 percent of lung cancers, and the risk for developing the disease increases with age.

The Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Screening should be discontinued once the individual has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that significantly limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.

(Copyright © 2013 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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