Thanks to a £70 million investment, ten projects have funding to check and prevent lung cancer in those most at risk. Those at risk will be invited for a lung MOT and chest scan through mobile clinics. Some of the clinics will be trucks operating from supermarket car parks across the country.
The investment comes as a drive to save more lives by diagnosing the condition early. The mobile clinics will start in the areas where there are the highest death rates for lung cancer. However, the project has the ability to screen over 600,000 people over the next four years. It is hoped it can save hundreds of lives and detect 3,400 cancers.
The lung screening trucks come after research found that screening targeted to those most at risk can reduce mortality from lung cancer by 26% in men. It also has the ability to reduce mortality by up to 61% for women with lung cancer.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, a significant object is to ensure 55,000 more people will survive cancer. To reach this, early screening is essential. This will help the NHS to achieve their ambition of diagnosing cancers early. Currently, half of the cancer diagnoses are during stage 1 and stage 2. However, the goal is to diagnose 75% within stage 1 and 2.
The screening will do more than detect lung cancer but can also help to identify a range of other health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. After a successful pilot scheme in Manchester and Liverpool, ten new areas across the country will benefit from the project. For example, in Manchester, the project scanned 2,541 patients. From this, 65 lung cancers were detected.
The mobile clinics and some hospital settings will invite patients aged between 55 and 74 who are considered ‘at risk’ for a screening and chest scan if necessary.
The Chief Executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Paula Chadwick said of the scheme; “We welcome today’s announcement confirming the rollout of 10 lung health check projects across England. Given our own first-hand knowledge of these programmes, coupled with the staggering results from the NELSON trial which saw a 26% reduction in mortality when high-risk patients had a CT scan, this is a big step forward in improving the early detection of lung cancer.”