On November 1, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommended that more people should be screened for lung cancer, which has a high mortality rate in part because many patients are diagnosed at a late stage.

The updated recommendation calls for annual CT screening for people ages 50 to 80 who have a smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (equivalent to one pack a day for 20 years). The previous guidelines recommended screening for those ages 55 to 74 with at least a 30 pack-year smoking history who currently still smoke or stopped less than 15 years ago. The new guidelines no longer recommend discontinuation of screening for people who quit years ago, as recent research shows that their risk remains elevated.

Experts estimate that the expanded guidelines will make an additional 5 million people eligible for screening, which “could make a real difference in saving lives,” says ACS senior vice president Robert Smith, PhD.