American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is developing a program to help increase lung cancer screening rates and timely access to specialists following a positive screening result.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. It carries a mortality burden larger than any other cancer, primarily because of late-stage diagnoses in the majority of cases.

The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial has demonstrated the ability to detect and cure early lung cancer. However, screening rates for the disease are low because of numerous obstacles, including:

  • Access to health care
  • Cost
  • Insurance coverage
  • Readiness of primary and specialty care physicians to:
    • Assess their patients' risk
    • Support a shared decision about screening
    • Provide a referral


The American Cancer Society will receive $1.25 million over three years to develop and implement a lung cancer screening navigation program. This program will identify and partner with three federally qualified health centers/community health centers in areas that have a high lung cancer burden. The goal is to conduct provider outreach and lung cancer education and to establish clinic-based patient navigation services that will provide support for patients who have positive screening results.

The target population is asymptomatic smokers between ages 55 and 74 years who have at least 30 pack-years of smoking history and have used tobacco within the last 15 years. The program will raise patient awareness about lung cancer screening and diagnosis through tailored information and resource coordination that will help patients in their decision-making.

In addition, the American Cancer Society will work with existing local, state and community partners to support patients with a lung cancer diagnosis and advocate incorporating lung cancer screening into action plans.

Project Leader

Katherine Sharpe,