ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Noninvasive Clinical Staging of Primary Lung Cancer

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J Am Coll Radiol


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. The major risk factor for lung cancer is personal tobacco smoking, particularly for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and squamous cell lung cancers, but other significant risk factors include exposure to secondhand smoke, environmental radon, occupational exposures, and air pollution. Education and socioeconomic status affect both incidence and outcomes. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), including adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma, comprises about 85% of lung cancers. SCLC accounts for approximately 13% to 15% of cases. Prognosis is directly related to stage at presentation. NSCLC is staged using the eighth edition of the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) criteria of the American Joint Committee on Cancer. For SCLC the eighth edition of TNM staging is recommended to be used in conjunction with the modified Veterans Administration Lung Study Group classification system distinguishing limited stage from extensive stage SCLC. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.

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