Fast Five Quiz: Early Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Daniel S. Schwartz, MD


May 24, 2022

Lung cancer screening (per the NCCN) focuses on categorizing risk assessment statuses. Individuals who fall into the high-risk category are 55-74 years of age with a > 30 pack-year either are current smokers or have smoking cessation of < 15 years or ≥ 50 years of age and a > 20 pack-year history and additional risk factors (other than second-hand smoke), and it is reasonable to use the Tammemagi lung cancer risk calculator to assess these risks using a 1.3% threshold, according to the same guidelines.

Individuals who fall into the moderate-risk category are ≥ 50 years of age with a > 20 pack-year history or a second-hand smoke exposure and no additional risk factors.

Individuals who fall into the low-risk category are ≤ 50 years of age with a < 20 pack-year history.

According to 2021 US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, lung cancer screening is unnecessary if someone has not smoked for > 15 years. Despite that, it may take as long as 10 years for the relative risk for lung cancer to fall baseline after smoking cessation.

Learn more about prevention of NSCLC.


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