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A close-up of a lung X-ray of a cigarette smoker. Photo: Getty Images

New guidelines published Tuesday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend annual lung cancer screenings for people as young as 50 and with shorter smoking histories than previously thought necessary.

Why it matters: The advice will make 6.4 million more Americans eligible for the yearly screening, including more women and African Americans, who tend to develop lung cancer earlier than white men despite smoking less, according to the New York Times.

Details: The new guidelines, published in the medical journal JAMA, apply to "adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years."

  • Previous recommendations set in 2013 recommended screenings for persons 55 and older, with 30 pack-year smoking histories.
  • The National Cancer Institute defines a pack-year as a measure of how much a person has smoked over an extended period of time. "It is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years the person has smoked."
  • "For example, 1 pack year is equal to smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year, or 2 packs per day for half a year, and so on."

The big picture: Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer in the U.S. and is the leading cause of cancer deaths, the USPSTF noted.

  • "Increasing lung cancer screening discussions and offering screening to eligible persons who express a preference for it is a key step to realizing the potential benefit of lung cancer screening," the report added.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Facebook paying up to $14M to settle employment discrimination claims

Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The settlement represents the largest civil penalty and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division has recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

Google's Pixel 6 bets on better cameras, homegrown chip

Image: Google

Google's latest Pixel phones, announced Tuesday, pack a lot more than just a new processor, although the Tensor chip is a key to many of the new features.

Between the lines: Google has been in the smartphone business for years, but with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, it is finally striking out in a unique direction.

3 hours ago - Health

J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year

J&J's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson registered $502 million of global revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date vaccine sales to $766 million.

The big picture: J&J, which is selling the vaccine at a not-for-profit price of $7.50 per dose, still expects to generate $2.5 billion of COVID vaccine sales this year, executives said Tuesday. But that total will still dwarf the use and sales of the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

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