People 50 years of age and older who have had pneumonia are recommended to have a follow-up chest x-ray to check for lung cancer. This recommendation is based on a study of 3,398 patients who were hospitalized or seen in the emergency room for pneumonia in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, between 2000 and 2002.
According to a summary published in JournalWatch, the study found the newly diagnosed lung cancer incidence after 90 days to be 1.1 percent, with only 40 percent of the patients having chest x-rays within 90 days. At one year, the incidence was 1.7 percent.
A total of 57 patients were diagnosed with lung cancer within one year. Of that number, only one was younger than 50. Another summary of the study points out that 79 of the patients in the study were diagnosed with lung cancer at five years. However, only 76 of the 79 patients were over 50 years old.