Researchers for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) analyze evidence on the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening by age in a study being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Smoking is the most important risk factor for developing lung cancer. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) reported a reduction in lung cancer mortality in high-risk participants aged 55 to 74 who were randomly assigned to screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) versus chest radiography. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) subsequently recommended annual lung cancer screening with LDCT for persons aged 55 to 80 who had ever smoked.
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In light of the new Milliman actuarial study, and erroneous information CMS has previously relied on when expressing it was not likely to provide LC screening under Medicare, despite the United States Preventive Services Task Force and the inclusion under the ACA (this position by CMS caused considerable disbelief and shock in the LC community), anything other than full adoption of the USPSTF recommendation for LC screening without copay or deductible would be an outrage, and send a message to those 65 and older or disabled, that their lives are held in less regard by our government than the rest of the population.