Impact of organized lung screening in Canada

Expanding screening to younger and older individuals

The 2016 Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care lung cancer screening guidelines recommended screening high-risk* individuals aged 55-74 years. The US Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended screening high-risk* individuals aged 50-80 years. Some programs in Canada are considering to offer lung cancer screening to high-risk* individuals starting at age 50 years to include those who started smoking at a much younger age. The interactive visualization below shows the number of individuals screened for lung cancer across three age criteria (50-74, 55-74, and 50-79).

Expanding lung cancer screening to younger high-risk* individuals would likely have little impact of screening resources. To optimize the benefits of lung cancer screening, adequate smoking cessation resources should be made available. Expanding lung cancer screening to older individuals would have a larger impact on CT scans than including younger individuals. Explore the interactive visualization below to learn more about the results of different screening scenarios.

*High-risk individuals refer to those who meet the lung cancer screening criteria, such as the NLST or PLCO 1.5% in 6 years criteria