AACI has partnered with more than 50 cancer organizations to issue a call to action
urging individuals, providers, and insurers to increase access to and utilization of low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans for those at high risk for lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for almost 25 percent of all cancer deaths. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for people ages 50-80 who have smoked for at least 20 years. However, only 5.7 percent of eligible Americans were screened for lung cancer before the COVID-19 pandemic, and screening rates have decreased for all cancers due to the pandemic.
Two major barriers to screening are coverage and access. While low-dose CT screening for lung cancer is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans, the pre-authorization process can delay the procedure by several days and place an unnecessary burden on community providers. Additionally, a recent study by the American Cancer Society found that at least 5 percent of those eligible for low-dose CT scans live more than 40 miles from a screening facility — and that percentage jumps to nearly 25 percent for screening-eligible individuals in rural areas.
The new effort also aligns with and supports the national Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to reduce cancer deaths by 50 percent over the next 25 years. This call to action provides guidance for national support, including public funding and health policy changes needed to significantly improve lung cancer screening participation.
View the Call to Action