Thurrock patients will be among the first to benefit from a new national Targeted Lung Cancer Check Programme.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, a new programme of targeted lung health checks was announced in March 2019. NHS England confirmed it is to invest in 14 Targeted Lung Health Check areas across England to improve the early detection of lung cancer and other lung diseases. Thurrock CCG along with Luton CCG was selected as one of the areas that could benefit from the investment.
What Is It?
In September 2019, people who are considered at risk of developing lung cancer or other lung diseases will be identified by GPs and other health professionals.This is likely to be people who are aged 55 to 74 with a smoking history (current smoker or ex-smoker). They will be invited to attend a lung health check by their GP.
The health check will be conducted by a lung specialist nurse and will involve discussion around lung cancer symptoms, a breathing test (spirometry) and stop smoking advice (as appropriate). The results of this will then be used to calculate a person’s individual lung cancer risk. Anyone at high risk of lung cancer will be invited to have a low-dose CT scan.
The scheme will launch later in 2019, and commissioners are working in partnership with patients, public health, and health and community professionals to bring this scheme to Thurrock. Look out for the lung screening trucks (much like breast screening) in a local area near you!
Mandy Ansell, Accountable Officer for Thurrock CCG said: “Thurrock was chosen along with Luton as an area that has poor survival from lung cancer. This project is a great opportunity to help us identify those people who are at risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer is often detected at later stages as some people don’t recognise the symptoms. The later the cancer is diagnosed the worse the survival and outcomes for people is. By catching cancer early, we can treat it quickly and improve survival for people.
“We are working together with radiologists, lung specialists and cancer specialists as well as our public health colleagues to ensure this opportunity really improves the health of our population.”
There is more information on the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check scheme here: NHS to rollout lung cancer scanning trucks across the country