National Expert Panel Gives Lung Cancer Screening Official Green Light
Full Coverage and Reimbursement for CT Screening Next Priority
WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, in what has been the culmination of more than two decades of research and advocacy, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued its final recommendation approving CT screening for those at high risk for lung cancer. The recommendation sets the stage for both public and private insurance coverage and is expected to bring about a dramatic increase in lung cancer survival.
The USPSTF recommends screening for current and former smokers age 55 to 80 with a smoking history the equivalent of smoking a pack a day for 30 years. The recommendation for screening includes those who have quit within the past 15 years.
"Today the tide has turned in our battle against lung cancer," said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), a national organization long recognized for its efforts to bring the benefit of responsible screening to those at risk.
"We can and will save tens of thousands of lives. We can and will continue to ensure adherence to the proven best practices to guide the screening, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. We can and will use this to accelerate research into all aspects of lung cancer," she said.
In February 2012, Lung Cancer Alliance developed and released its National Framework for Excellence in Lung Cancer Screening and Continuum of Care and there are now more than 140 screening centers across the country following its guidelines and best practices.
Fenton Ambrose also noted that this recommendation puts lung cancer on par with breast, colon and cervical cancers whose survival has increased due to responsible delivery of and access to screening.
Lung Cancer Alliance will continue informing the public about this benefit and working to ensure coverage and reimbursement decisions move swiftly and equitably so that all of those at risk for lung cancer benefit from this decision.
About Lung Cancer Alliance Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) is committed to saving lives and accelerating research by empowering people living with or at risk for lung cancer. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services to patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung cancer; conducts national awareness campaigns including the award winning No One Deserves to Die Campaign attacking the stigma of the disease and the Moments Campaign spreading the word about risk and screening; and advocates for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research. For more information please visit www.lungcanceralliance.org.
About Lung Cancer Lung cancer is the leading killer in the United States; taking more lives than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. Each year, an estimated 160,000 lives are lost to lung cancer. Only 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive it. This is primarily because today the vast majority of lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage.
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SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance