Early Detection of Lung Cancer
This year, we funded a Lung Health MOT check to identify potential lung cancer patients before any symptoms appear.
Early detection is key to improving lung cancer survival rates. It's working for breast and cervical cancer; over 6,000 lives have been saved each year after screening became available on the NHS. We're hopeful this success will be echoed for bowel cancer too, with up to 2,000 lives predicted to be saved each year by 2025.
We believe this can also be emulated for lung cancer and we're starting to see the results to prove it.
Our Lung Health MOT check launched in Bulwell, Nottingham in January 2017. Patients in five Bulwell practices aged between 60 and 75 with a history of smoking were invited to attend a lung health check appointment by their GP.
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
During the health check, patients will be assessed. Any high risk patients will be offered a low dose CT (LDCT) scan. The scan then identified if the patient has any nodules on their lungs.
In almost 5 per cent of patients, the CT scan revealed small nodules on their lungs. These are not currently malignant. However, these patients will now undergo interval CT scanning to monitor any growth or changes.
Without our health check, it is highly likely these patients would have stayed 'under the radar' and remained undiagnosed even if the nodule grew. Now, any changes would mean they should be diagnosed at a very early stage and be offered potentially curative, and far less radical, treatment.
In addition to these patients, we have also identified two more patients who may have early stage lung cancer. They are now undergoing further tests before being offered treatment.
In addition to identifying potential lung cancer patients, the health check has also found other respiratory conditions that could have affected a person's health and quality of life without them even realising it. Nearly two thirds (62%) of people who attended a CT scan were referred for further care. This was for a number of reasons including COPD, high blood pressure and asthma. Patients were also given smoking cessation advice.
Attendance levels at our check were incredible, with 96 per cent coming for their scan, a figure that certainly surpassess similar projects where patients needed to go for a CT scan at a hospital. This suggests that location plays a significant role. By placing a CT scanner in the heart of the community, more people will be able to attend their appointment. They do not have to worry about travel, particularly if they are in ill-health, or about the cost of getting there.
A mobile CT scanner will be made available for the project, making it easier for patients to attend appointments
Our project also fast-tracks patients; instead of falling into NHS waiting lists, they will have their scan a week after their initial appointment. This is better for the patient and our overstretched NHS.
We are highly encouraged by the results and are aiming to fund the Lung Health MOT check into its next stages, identifying more patients and potential patients and, ultimately, saving lives.
But we cannot do it alone. We receive no government funding. Everything we do, every person we support, every life we save, is because of you. You can donate to help fund our Lung Health MOT check and save someone's life.