Yesterday, a government-appointed panel, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), released its Draft Recommendation Statement proposing annual lung cancer screening of certain high-risk groups. The USPSTF is proposing a “Grade B” recommendation for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans for current and former smokers ages 55 to 79 who have more than a 30 pack year history of smoking. A “Grade B” recommendation would mean that this preventive service would have to be covered by Medicare and any medical plan subject to the Affordable Care Act at no cost to the consumer who fits the screening criteria.

This is still a draft recommendation and is subject to comment and finalization. Given the synergy between cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure, we recommend that all railroad workers discuss lung cancer screening with their doctors. Only a doctor can determine if lung cancer screening is appropriate for an individual patient.

The draft recommendation is open for public comment until August 26, after which the task force will decide whether to make the recommendations final.

If you are a railroad worker who worked with or around asbestos at the railroad, and you have been diagnosed with cancer, please contact usfor more information about your legal rights.