Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the U.S. An estimated 127,070 Americans will die from lung cancer in 2023.1 Early detection of lung cancer through low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening has been shown to significantly reduce lung cancer mortality in high-risk populations and is currently recommended annually by the U.S.
In observance of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, STS participated in a congressional press conference focused on the importance of lung cancer screening hosted on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Thursday, November 16. The event, hosted by Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL), aimed to bring attention to the urgent need to get more people screened for lung cancer.
STS joined other key stakeholders in the lung cancer community at this event, including LUNGevity Foundation, American Lung Association, GO2 for Lung Cancer, Moffitt Cancer Center, the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).
STS has a long history of advocating for robust patient access to lung cancer prevention, screenings, and treatment. “Over the past decade, significant progress has been made to expand insurance coverage of lung cancer screening, yet this press conference highlighted that significant challenges remain to increasing screening rates among at-risk individuals,” said Keith Mortman, MD, who participated in the press conference and is a member of the STS Workforce on Health Policy, Reform, and Advocacy. “While innovative treatments for lung cancer are rapidly emerging, not everyone has equal access to these cutting-edge treatments. STS is relentlessly advocating with policymakers in Washington to remove barriers and increase access so our members can offer the highest quality lung cancer care possible.”
To advance this priority, STS has advocated for H.R. 4286, Increasing Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Kathy Castor (D-FL), that would require all state Medicaid programs to cover lung cancer screenings for eligible enrollees as recommended by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF). Urge your lawmakers to support this legislation today.
Overall survival rates of esophageal cancer have risen in the past 50-plus years, from 5% in 1970 to 22% in 2023. Yet, no comprehensive guidelines addressing multidisciplinary management of esophageal cancer that incorporate input from surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists have been available, until now.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Society for Radiation Oncology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology have co-authored the first comprehensive guideline on the management of esophageal cancer. Published today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the guideline addresses key clinical subject areas pertinent to the care of patients with locally advanced, resectable thoracic esophageal cancer.
The guideline delivers recommendations for the use of induction chemotherapy, optimal radiation dose, value and timing of esophagectomy, use of chemotherapy vs. chemoradiotherapy before surgery, approach and extent of lymphadenectomy, and the value of adjuvant therapy after resection.
“These comprehensive guidelines address areas critical for standardizing and improving care and outcomes for esophageal cancer patients,” says study investigator Stephanie Worrell, MD, clinical associate professor and thoracic section chief at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “The recommendations are based on a comprehensive review of innovations and advancements in the most recent literature.”