Do you think you might be at risk for lung cancer? Are you wondering whether to get screened?
Our doctors have developed a lung cancer risk assessment tool that can be used to calculate your risk for developing the disease. The tool will ask you questions about your age, gender, smoking history, and exposure to asbestos, and will use that information to predict the likelihood that you’ll develop lung cancer in the next ten years.
We created this tool to help people make decisions about their healthcare, including whether to get screened for lung cancer. We recommend you use the tool in collaboration with your doctor.
Who Can Use This Tool?
We designed this decision tool for people who are current or former smokers. It works only for people like those listed below whose risk is high enough to accurately predict.
- You currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years AND
- You are between the ages of 50 and 80 years old AND
- You smoke or smoked on average one pack of cigarettes per day for at least 20 years, or the equivalent – for example, two packs a day for ten years
Why Is This Tool Useful?
It helps doctors and patients determine the chance that screening will be beneficial. Research shows that whether a current or former smoker will benefit from lung cancer screening depends on that person’s individual risk of developing the disease.
Our researchers worked with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to develop and test this tool, which is based on data from the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET), a large, randomized trial of lung cancer prevention methods.
What Information Will You Need to Complete It?
In order for this tool to provide accurate information, you will need to input your:
- the number of years you’ve smoked or had smoked before you quit
- the average number of cigarettes you smoked per day during that time
- how many years it’s been since you quit, if you have
- whether or not you were exposed to asbestos at work
Because the information this tool generates can be complicated, you should discuss the results with your doctor.