Changing the current lung cancer guidelines to a 2-year smoking duration cutoff vs a 20 pack-year cutoff would significantly improve the rate of cancer detection and reduce racial disparities with screenings.
Changing the current United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) lung cancer guidelines to a 2-year smoking duration cutoff vs a 20 pack-year cutoff would significantly improve the rate of cancer detection and reduce racial disparities with screenings, according to findings presented at the International Associated for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) North American Conference on Lung Cancer in Chicago.
Current Screening Guideline Limitations
Using the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS) and the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), investigators looked at individuals with a smoking history. A total of 49,703 and 22,126 individuals from the SCCS and BWHS, respectively, qualified for analysis.
Investigators looked at these individuals’ data to determine who would qualify for lung cancer screening under the current USPSTF guidelines and compared those findings against who would qualify if the “20 pack-year” requirement was replaced with a “20-year smoking duration” criterion.
Under the current 2021 USPSTF guidelines, the percentage of Black patients with lung cancer who would have qualified for screening in the SCCC group was 57.6%. A significantly higher proportion of White patients in this group would have met the criteria (74.0%) with the current guideline (P < .001).
However, in looking at this same population, the proportion of Black and White patients who would have been eligible for screening with the proposed guideline change was 85.3% and 82.0%, effectively eliminating the screening disparities between the 2 groups.