American Cancer Society releases new guidelines for lung cancer screenings

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jan 11, 2013

(CBS) - Lung cancer is one of this country's top killers. And Friday, the American Cancer Society released new guidelines for screening people at highest risk.

The group is now recommending annual C-T scans for high risk smokers- patients between the ages of 55 and 74 who smoke or have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years.

There are risks associated with C-T scans, which is why doctors are not recommending the tests for all smokers.

The scans are a type of X-Ray and involve some radiation. They can also turn up false positives, which may lead to unnecessary tests, biopsies, and sometimes, dangerous complications.

The American Cancer Society's new screening guidelines include current smokers and those who have quit within the last 15 years.

While the  group says the screenings will save lives, there's a long way to go. Lung cancer kills about 160,000 Americans each year.