Past and current smokers in Radford and Hyson Green are being invited to a NHS lung health check in a drive to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and save more lives.
With one of the highest mortality rates for lung cancer in England, Radford and Hyson Green are one of 43 places across the country to run the Targeted Lung Health Check programme which is being rolled out across Nottingham City.
The initiative means more than 30,000 past and current smokers aged 55 to 74 in Nottingham will be invited to a lung health check by their GP this year. This will identify an estimated 327 cases of lung cancer earlier than otherwise would have been.
Dr Manik Arora, Deputy Medical Director said: “We’re delighted to be in a position to drive this forward in Radford and Hyson Green to enable thousands of people to benefit from Lung Health Checks. The Lung Heath Check finds out how well a participant’s lungs are working and hopes to identify problems early. Your lungs work hard for you every minute of your life. As you get older it’s worth getting them checked out.”
Cancer survival is at an all-time high in England and the latest data shows the NHS is diagnosing more patients with cancer at an earlier stage than ever before, when it is easier to treat – over 100,000 (104,012) patients were diagnosed with cancer at stages one or two when it is easier to treat – the highest proportion on record.
The lung health check takes place in two stages. The first is an initial phone assessment with a specially trained health care professional. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they are offered a low dose CT scan of the lungs for further investigation.
The scanner is housed in a mobile unit and is being taken to accessible areas in Radford and Hyson Green, including the Asda supermarket at Hyson Green.
Lung cancer can often be caught too late as there are rarely symptoms at the earlier stages. This programme is designed to check those most at risk of developing lung cancer in order to spot signs earlier, at the stage when it’s much more treatable and ultimately saving more lives.
Simon Castle, Deputy Director of Cancer, diagnostics, and end of life care at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said: “The earlier lung cancer is identified means there will, most likely, be less invasive treatment needed, better recovery and better outcomes. That’s why it is so important that people who are invited take up this offer. The Targeted Lung Health Check programme started in Mansfield and Ashfield and has since been rolled out across Nottingham city; and we hope to expand it across the whole of Nottinghamshire in the coming years. This life-saving programme is improving early diagnosis and helping patients to receive timely treatment which is undoubtedly helping to save people’s lives.
“I would urge anyone who receives an invite from the Targeted Lung Health Check programme, even if you don’t have any symptoms, to take up the offer of a free check-up, it could save your life. If you do have symptoms and you’re worried it could be cancer, please don’t delay in coming forward – your GP will want to see you.”
The Targeted Lung Health Check programme estimates it will diagnose around 9,000 cancers earlier than would otherwise have been within the 43 places running the checks. This offers the opportunity for earlier interventions, including curative surgery, which will save people’s lives. Stop smoking advice will also be offered to support current smokers.