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If you’re a current or former smoker between the ages of 50 and 80, you may benefit from lung cancer screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently changed its screening recommendation to include people in this age range who are current smokers with a pack-a-day habit for 20 years, or people who used to smoke this amount but quit within the last 15 years. Formerly the recommendation was for current or former smokers ages 55 to 80 with who smoked a pack a day for 30 years, or those who quit smoking that amount within the last 15 years. The USPSTF determined that the benefits of screening using an annual low-dose CT scan in this expanded group outweigh the risks (such as false-positive results or unnecessary follow-up testing), largely because lung cancer typically has a poor prognosis, but early detection improves your chance of survival.
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