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Lung Cancer Screening Question
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Lung Cancer Screening Question

Hello,

I was wondering if I could ask the opinion of a doctor on Lung Cancer Screening, particularly the current low dosage CT screening guidelines in the US.

I am a former smoker, 39 years old, recently quit. I was looking up lung cancer screening guidelines and determined that I don't fit into the first category of people for whom yearly low dosage screening is recommended, and I never will as I do not have anywhere close to 30 pack years of smoking.

My question is about the second category (recommendation 2b). I have calculated conservatively (meaning overestimated to be safe) and I came up with 19 pack years of smoking for me. Realistically, the number is probably closer to 17 pack years, or lower, but I overestimated to be safe.

Recommendation 2b indicates that you should be screened after 50 years of age if you have smoked 20 pack years or more, and have a secondary risk that would increase your chances of having lung cancer by 5% over 5 years. The additional risk factor that concerns me is Radon exposure. I am currently getting my home tested for Radon in the basement, as we spend a very large amount of time there. But I have also lived in two other houses over the time that I was a smoker, and at that time we did not test the homes for Radon levels.

My question then is, considering that I am close to 20 pack years (but most likely lower than 19 pack years) and the fact that I do not know about the Radon levels in my former two homes, should I be screened on a yearly basis for lung cancer through low dosage CT once I turn 50? And if my current home ends up having high Radon levels, is that considered a documented exposure to Radon, and again, would I need to get tested yearly at 50?

Thanks,
Dev
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