SMOKERS are offered life-saving NHS pulmonary screening from middle age to increase cancer survival rates.
Health bosses have recommended a mass rollout of CT scans in mobile units and trucks in supermarket car parks, which ministers are expected to support.
This comes after a pilot of these tests detected three-quarters of lung cancer cases as having stage one or two – when the disease is more likely to be treatable.
Because lung cancer doesn’t usually show any signs or symptoms in its earlier stages, it’s usually not discovered until it’s advanced, reducing the chance of a cure.
It is the third most common type of cancer in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. Around 48,500 Britons are diagnosed each year.
According to the charity, over 70 percent of these cases are linked to smoking.
According to the Telegraph, the NHS lung screening program is due to be officially announced later this year and will be part of a range of initiatives to improve early detection of the deadly disease.
Downing Street and Health Ministers are reportedly discussing the level of funding for the project, following recommendations from the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) last September.
These in turn determine the speed of the rollout.
According to Cancer Research, lung tumors are the leading cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Every year, 34,800 people die from it – that’s about 95 people a day.
And outcomes tend to be poor, with survival rates hovering around 15 percent — partly because so many cases aren’t detected until the late stages.
Lung cancer screening is already available in more than 43 parts of the country through pilot programs focused on the most disadvantaged areas.
And charities said initial findings from testing programs were “extraordinary” and had the potential to save 5,000 lives a year.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer does not always cause symptoms in its early stages, and many of the signs and symptoms can also be caused by other conditions.
However, if you catch the cancer early, treatment may be easier.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- have a new cough or have a cough most of the time
- You get out of breath and can easily do the things you used to do
- coughing up bloody phlegm
- have chest or shoulder pain
- Breast infections that keep coming back or a breast infection that doesn’t get better
- lose your appetite
- I feel tired all the time
- lose weight
If you notice any symptoms or changes, it is best to have them checked out by your GP as soon as possible.
There are two main forms of primary lung cancer (cancer that starts in the lungs). These are:
- Non-small cell lung cancer (squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, or large cell carcinoma)
- Small cell lung cancer
Treatment depends on the type of cancer and mutation, how far it has spread, and your general health.
About two in five people with this condition live at least a year after diagnosis, and about one in ten people live at least 10 years.
Source: Cancer Research UK, NHS