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National Expert Panel Gives Lung Cancer Screening Official Green Light

Full Coverage and Reimbursement for CT Screening Next Priority

Washington, DC [Monday, Dec. 30, 2013] – 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 and 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.