UVA joins dozens of organizations advocating for increased lung cancer screenings

Charlottesville, Va.-based UVA Health Cancer Center is joining more than 50 cancer organizations to advocate for increased access to and use of low-dose computed tomography scans for lung cancer.

The effort to make screenings more easily accessible aims to support the Biden administration's Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to reduce cancer deaths by 50 percent over the next 25 years, according to a Nov. 1 news release from UVA.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for people ages 50 to 80 who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, but only 5.7 percent of eligible patients were screened before the pandemic. That number has since dropped.

"Unfortunately, greater than 70 percent of lung cancers are detected too late, when the chance for a cure is much lower," Michael Hanley, MD, a lung cancer screening expert at UVA Health Cancer Center, said in the release. "The goal of screening is to detect cancers early on, when there is a high chance for a cure and a return to normal life."

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