Recent Blog Articles
More movement, better memory
Improving access to hearing aids
Can mindfulness change your brain?
Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease
Transient ischemic attacks: Varied symptoms, all important
5 inflammation-fighting food swaps
Is IBD an underrecognized health problem in minority groups?
Sickle cell disease in newborns and children: What families should know and do
COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens: What we do — and don’t — know
Happy trails: Take a hike, now
Lung cancer screening now recommended for those at high risk
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released a draft recommendation that people at high risk for lung cancer should have an annual CT scan to look for hidden disease. The recommendation applies to you if you are 55 to 80 years old and:
have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years and still smoke
smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years and have quit in the past 15 years. (It takes that long for the risk to fall to average after you quit.)
Research has found that checking for small lung tumors—detectable before a person develops obvious symptoms of lung cancer—can benefit those at highest risk. Current and former smokers at lower risk for cancer may not get as much benefit from screening. This is because they would face repeat testing leading to treatment and false alarms when CT scanning picks up worrisome spots that turn out to be harmless. Anyone considering CT screening for lung cancer should be fully aware of the pros and cons of the decision before making it.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.