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More than one million people invited for lung cancer checks

More than one million people (1,052,083) have been invited for a lung cancer check, as part of the biggest programme to improve early lung cancer diagnosis in health service history.

The NHS has invited former and current smokers to attend a consultation in convenient locations such as football stadiums, shopping car parks and town centres with on-the-spot chest scans for those at highest risk.

‘The NHS Targeted Lung Check Programme is the latest in a serious of measures to catch cancer early with almost 2,400 people diagnosed with cancer through this alone, alongside record numbers receiving treatment for cancer over the last year thanks to the health service investing in the latest technology and treatments for patients,’ said NHS National Clinical Director for Cancer, Professor Peter Johnson.

‘Symptoms of lung cancer can include a long-standing cough and persistent breathlessness and former or current smokers are most at risk.’

Almost 2,400 cancers have already been caught through the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme with around three-quarters caught at the earliest stages of one and two, where survival chances are much higher.

Dozens of scanning sites have been set up in areas with the highest rates of mortality from lung cancer in a bid to ramp up earlier detection of the disease, as the NHS prepares for a national roll out.

The news comes as a record 335,000 people have started treatment for cancer in the last year (July 2022 to June 2023), up by over 20,000 on the same period before the pandemic (July 2018 to June 2019).

‘Cancer survival rates are improving with more people being seen and treated than ever before. However, 35,000 people still die from lung cancer every year and most of those are smokers or former smokers,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay .

‘That is why these lung cancer checks are so important and earlier this year we announced a national targeted screening programme, which includes using venues that makes it as easy as possible for people to get scanned.’