Lung cancer screening opportunity often missed in women

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

October 2, 2019 -- Women presenting for mammography screening often miss out on the chance to also undergo screening for lung cancer, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Many women undergo annual mammography screening -- which offers an ideal opportunity to screen them for lung cancer with low-dose chest CT while they're at the clinic, wrote a team led by Dr. Diego López of Harvard Medical School in Boston. But providers don't seem to be taking advantage of this opportunity.

López and colleagues sought to estimate the proportion of women eligible for lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation counseling among those who reported having undergone mammography screening within the previous two years. The study included data from 3,806 women between the ages of 55 and 74 years in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (JACR, October 2019, Vol. 16:10, pp. 1433-1439).

Of the 3,806 women, 7.1% were eligible for lung cancer screening and 9.8% were smokers. These eligible women were more likely to be white, younger, and noncollege-educated and have lower household incomes (all p < 0.001); among them, 58% reported undergoing mammography screening within the previous two years. Of those women eligible for lung cancer screening who underwent mammography, 7.9% stated they had also had lung cancer screening, the group found.

"Mammography encounters may represent prime opportunities to increase lung cancer screening participation among patients already receiving imaging-based screening services," the researchers concluded.


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