Lung Cancer Screening Project

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer. One of the primary reasons for the high mortality rate is because lung cancer patients are diagnosed too late. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is taking significant steps to address this by funding a Lung Health Check and Lung Cancer screening project in Bulwell, Nottingham.


The launch of the Lung Cancer screening project in Bulwell with local MP Graham Allen and Audrey, a patient who took part in the pilot project

How it works

The aim of the project is to identify potential lung cancer patients before any symptoms appear. Patients in five Bulwell practices aged between 60 and 75 with a history of smoking will be invited to attend a lung health check appointment by their GP.

During the health check, patients will be assessed. Any high risk patients will be offered a low dose CT (LDCT) scan. The scan will then identify if the patient has any nodules on their lungs. If they do, they will be referred to the Nottingham University Hospital’s (NUH) Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) for regular monitoring and follow up.


A mobile CT scanner will be made available for the project, making it easier for patients to attend appointments

Will it save lives?

Prior to the launch of the screening project, a pilot was run at Bilborough Medical Centre during January and February 2016. It targeted a high risk group – people between the ages of 60 and 75 with a history of smoking in the last 5 years. The results^ were as follows:

  • 35% of invited patients attended a lung health check appointment
  • 60% of patients attending the lung health check appointment were eligible for a CT scan
  • 88% of patients eligible for a CT scan accepted and attended the scan
  • 3 lung nodules were found.

None of the nodules found were cancerous but this can change. As a result, these three patients will now be kept under observation. This means if lung cancer does develop, there is an increased chance that it will be caught early. Individuals with very early stage lung cancer have up to a 73% chance of surviving for five years or more.

Why Nottingham?

  • 115.7 / 100,000 lung cancer incidences (vs. 83.3 / 100,000 national average)
  • 75.4 / 100,000 lung cancer mortality rate (vs. 66.6 / 100,000 national average)
  • 34% of lung cancer diagnoses for Nottingham City CCG patients are made via emergency presentations
  • 24.4% smoking rate (vs. 19.5% national average).

Timeframes

The project will start in clinics in January 2017 with LDCT scans completed by the end of February. Depending on the results and funding available, the project may then be extended to further boroughs and regions.

^For the Bilborough pilot an operational decision was made to scan people in the top 10% lung cancer risk threshold. The original plan was to scan at 5% risk threshold but due to more capacity than demand the threshold was lowered to utilise the capacity. A decision has been taken to use the original 5% risk threshold in the Bulwell pilot. Applying the 5% threshold to the Bilborough cohort gives a CT eligibility rate of 25/66 = 38%.

Want to support our screening project?
Text LUNG £5 to 70660 to donate £5

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