New guidelines for lung cancer screening introduced in Canada

A man smokes a cigarette in Hialeah, Fla., Feb.7, 2011.
A man smokes a cigarette in Hialeah, Fla., Feb.7, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo/Alan Diaz

WINNIPEG – Heavy smokers over the age of 55 may want to ask their doctors about the new guidelines for lung cancer screening.

The Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care has introduced changes, including recommendations such as low-dose CT scans as opposed to chest X-rays.

Researchers saw a 15 per cent reduction in lung cancer deaths in people screened under the new guidelines.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada and is the leading cause of death from cancer for both Canadian men and women.

People are considered high risk for lung cancer if they are a heavy smoker between 55 to 74 years old.

If someone currently smokes or quit less than 15 years ago after smoking at least 30 packs a year, the CTFPHC recommended annual screening up to three consecutive times.

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With files from CJOB

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