Current screening guidelines may prevent early diagnosis of lung cancer in many cases, according to research presented at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Annual Meeting.
In a study of nearly 1200 patients who underwent lung cancer surgery, 43% of those with early-stage lung cancer and 41% of those with stage IV lung cancer would have been ineligible for lung cancer screening under the 2021 United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines.
For this study, researchers analyzed patients from the Southern Community Cohort Study, which includes low-income adults from 12 southeastern US states. The analysis included 267 patients with early-stage lung cancer and 909 patients with metastatic lung cancer.
In the early-stage cohort, 55% of patients were Black, 41% were White, and 4% were other races. Sixty-two percent of patients were current smokers, 28% former smokers, and 10% never smokers.
In the metastatic cohort, 63% of patients were Black, 33% were White, and 4% were other races. Seventy-two percent of patients were current smokers, 23% former smokers, and 5% never smokers.
The proportion of patients eligible for lung cancer screening according to the 2021 USPSTF guidelines was 57% in the early-stage cohort and 59% in the metastatic cohort. In comparison, 64% of both cohorts would have been eligible according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.