Lung Cancer: Lung Cancer Screening Decision Tool

Major medical organizations(1), (2) and doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recommend you consider being screened only if you are at least 55 years old and have 30 pack years of smoking or more. But even if you meet these criteria, the chance you will get lung cancer is unique to you.

Our lung cancer screening decision tool can help you understand the likelihood that screening will help you by first calculating the chance you will develop and die of lung cancer, and then figuring out how likely it is that screening will prevent that from happening. It is an online questionnaire that asks only about lung cancer risk factors and is completely confidential.

Who Can Use This Tool?

This screening decision tool was designed to be used by people who are current and former smokers. It works only for people like those listed below whose risk is high enough to accurately assess.

  • Age: 50 to 75 years old.
  • Smoking history: 10 to 60 cigarettes (one-half pack to three packs) a day for 25 to 55 years.
  • Current smokers or former smokers who quit 20 years ago or less.

Why Is This Tool Useful?

This tool helps clinicians and patients determine the chance that screening will be beneficial.  Research shows that the chance that a current or former smoker will benefit from lung cancer screening depends on that person’s individual risk of developing the disease.(3), (4), (5), (6)

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, developed and tested this lung cancer screening decision tool. The tool is based on data from the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET), a large, randomized trial of lung cancer prevention, and has been shown in other studies to work in predicting people getting lung cancer.(4), (6)

What Information Will You Need?

In order for this tool to provide accurate information, you will need your:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Number of years that you have smoked
  • The average number of cigarettes you smoked per day during your years of smoking
  • How many years it has been since you quit, if you have
  • Whether or not you were exposed to asbestos at work

Patients should discuss the results of this prediction tool with their doctor.

Use our lung cancer screening decision tool.

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about this tool, please contact us at publicaffairs@mskcc.org.