In the 19th century, lung cancer was an unusual tumor; so much so that single case reports of the rare cancer were published in the scientific literature of the day. Things have changed. Other than skin cancer, lung cancer is now the most common cancer and is the most frequent cause of death from cancer in both men and women.
In recognition of the importance of lung cancer in the population and with the rise of evidence-based medicine as a basis for diagnosing the disease and managing those afflicted, in the year 2000 the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), through its Health and Science Policy Committee, commissioned the development of evidence-based guidelines on the diagnosis and management of lung cancer. The goal was to assist physicians in achieving the best possible outcomes given the knowledge and capabilities available at the time. The size of the task was daunting, but the goal was laudable and the guidelines were successfully published as a Supplement to CHEST in January of 2003.