Parallel and often unrelated developments in health care and technology have all been necessary to bring about early detection of lung cancer and the opportunity to decrease mortality from lung cancer through early detection of the disease by computed tomography. Lung cancer screening programs provide education for patients and clinicians, support smoking cessation as primary prevention for lung cancer, and facilitate health care for tobacco-associated diseases, including cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases. Guidelines for lung cancer screening will need to continue to evolve as additional risk factors and screening tests are developed. Data collection from lung cancer screening programs is vital to the further development of fiscally responsible guidelines to increase detection of lung cancer, which may include small groups with elevated risk for reasons other than tobacco exposure.


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