The Lung Cancer Policy Network warmly welcomes the news that a national targeted lung cancer screening programme is to be implemented across England following a successful screening pilot.
The programme will use patients’ primary care records to identify people aged 55–74 with a history of smoking and invite them for screening. It is supported by the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC).
Professor John Field of the University of Liverpool, who is a member of the Lung Cancer Policy Network, said:
‘This is great news for individuals who are at a high risk of developing lung cancer. The success of the targeted lung health screening programme has been built on years of dedicated research and patient support. The UKNSC has utilised the data from previous studies and demonstrated that lung cancer screening is cost-effective – and, most importantly, that lung cancer screening saves lives. The UK Prime Minster’s recent announcement will have a momentous impact on reducing lung cancer deaths.’
The national expansion will mean an estimated 325,000 people will be newly eligible for a first scan each year, with 992,000 scans expected to take place annually.
Dr Jesme Fox, Medical Director at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and a member of the Lung Cancer Policy Network, said:
‘This is the announcement we have been waiting for. Lung cancer screening allows us to get ahead of this awful disease, catching it at the earliest opportunity – often before symptoms even start – and treating it with an aim to cure. Through the success of NHS England’s targeted lung health check programme, we have been able to detect over three quarters of cancers at stages I and II, which turn current rates on their head. By rolling out screening nationally, we can save as many as 9,000 lives every year, as well as reduce people’s risk of cancer altogether.’
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