Lung CancerLung Cancer Screening

Let’s Talk About Lung Cancer Screening and Prevention

The first step in your fight against lung cancer is avoiding it in the first place. While no one is completely immune to the disease, there are steps you can take to drastically cut your risk.

    Our Pro PanelLung Cancer Screening and Prevention

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in lung cancer to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Jacob Sands, M.D.

    Jacob Sands, M.D.Thoracic Medical Oncologist and Instructor in Medicine

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School
    Boston, MA
    Jorge Gomez, M.D.

    Jorge Gomez, M.D.Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program and World Trade Center Oncology Clinic

    Mount Sinai Hospital
    New York, NY
    Matthew Schabath, Ph.D.

    Matthew Schabath, Ph.D.Epidemiologist and Thoracic Oncologist

    H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    Tampa, FL

    Frequently Asked QuestionsLung Cancer Screening and Prevention

    Can a standard chest x-ray be used for lung cancer screening?

    No. A chest x-ray is not the recommended lung cancer screening method, as it fails to capture up to 23% of all lung cancer cases. Instead, you want a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan, which provides a more in-depth look at your lungs and nearby organs.

    Will switching to low tar or low nicotine cigarettes help reduce my risk of lung cancer?

    Nope. Smoking any type of cigarettes, even these “light” or “ultralight” variations, is dangerous to your health, and smoking is by far the leading cause of all lung cancers. PS: Research shows that smoking unfiltered cigarettes raises your lung cancer risk the most.

    Don’t some smoking cessation methods up my risk for lung cancer, too?

    No. There’s no research that ties nicotine replacement therapy (including nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal spray) to lung cancer. The nicotine in cigarettes gets you hooked, but it doesn’t give you cancer.

    I read that taking certain supplements can increase my risk of lung cancer. True?

    Some evidence suggests that people already at-risk for lung cancer (see: heavy smokers) should not take beta-carotene supplements, as it further increases their risk. But if you don’t fall into that group, beta-carotene in fruits and veggies may actually help stave off lung cancer.

    Holly Pevzner

    Holly Pevzner


    Holly Pevzner is a health writer whose work has appeared in many publications, including EatingWell and Prevention.