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Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Screening for Lung Cancer

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Release Date: May 2004

Summary of Recommendations / Supporting Documents

Summary of Recommendations

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against screening asymptomatic persons for lung cancer with either low dose computerized tomography (LDCT), chest x-ray (CXR), sputum cytology, or a combination of these tests.

    Rating: "I" statement.

    Rationale: The USPSTF found fair evidence that screening with LDCT, CXR, or sputum cytology can detect lung cancer at an earlier stage than lung cancer would be detected in an unscreened population; however, the USPSTF found poor evidence that any screening strategy for lung cancer decreases mortality. Because of the invasive nature of diagnostic testing and the possibility of a high number of false-positive tests in certain populations, there is potential for significant harms from screening. Therefore, the USPSTF could not determine the balance between the benefits and harms of screening for lung cancer.

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Supporting Documents

Screening for Lung Cancer, May 2004
Recommendation Statement (PDF File, 200 KB; PDF Help)
Summary of the Evidence (PDF File, 300 KB); PDF Help
Systematic Evidence Review (PDF Files Download)

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Current as of May 2004

Internet Citation:

Screening for Lung Cancer, Topic Page. May 2004. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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