NHS England is to make lung cancer screening more accessible by operating mobile CT scanners from supermarket car parks.
Mobile screening trucks, based in supermarket car parks, will offer patients aged 55 to 74 and at high risk of developing lung cancer an “MOT for their lungs” which includes a computerised tomography (CT) scan.
A recent study has show CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 26% in Men and between 39% and 61% in women.
NHS England says the targeted screening will help improve survival rates by going first to the some of the areas with the highest death rates from lung cancer. The roll out has the potential to reach around 600,000 people over four years, detecting approximately 3,400 cancers and saving hundreds of lives across the country.
Early diagnosis is crucial.
The NHS Long Term Plan set out an ambition that 55,000 more people will survive their cancer – to achieve this the plan also included an ambition to increase the number of cancers diagnosed at stages one and two from half to three-quarters of cancer patients.
Cally Palmer, national cancer director at NHS England, said: “Catching more cancers early is a cornerstone of the NHS Long Term Plan to save a further 55,000 lives a year and targeted lung health checks is one of the first projects to roll out following publication.
“These new projects will save lives – early diagnosis for cancer is crucial as it is easier to treat, not only saving lives, but it will also mean thousands of patients will avoid life changing treatments.”
Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: “We welcome today’s announcement confirming the roll out 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.