New lung cancer screening trial brings us a step closer to a national programme

A new mobile lung cancer screening trial has launched in Leeds, as the pressure for a national programme increases.

Tom is living with lung cancer
Mobile CT scanners will be based in supermarket car parks and shopping centres

The Leeds Lung Health Check project will see around 7,000 people invited to a health check, like Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s own project in Nottingham, in mobile CT scanners based in supermarket car parks and shopping centres.

The news comes just over a month after the long-awaited results of the NELSON study reported a 26% reduction in lung cancer deaths when high-risk patients had a CT scan.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, comments:

“The launch of the Yorkshire project is another step towards a national lung cancer screening programme. The more projects there are like this, the more evidence we can collect to demonstrate that lung cancer screening works and the more pressure this puts on the National Screening Committee.

“Ever since the launch of our charity in 1990 up to the present day, we have campaigned for a national lung cancer screening programme because we know the impact it can have on lung cancer survival rates.

“Earlier this year, we launched our campaign #LetsRoll off the back of Simon Stevens announcement for a lung health check programme across England. It called for such a programme to be implemented as soon as possible, and extended to the rest of the UK, because people with lung cancer don’t have time to wait.”

The charity has funded its own lung health check in lieu of a national programme for the past two years in Nottingham and has seen first-hand how offering high risk patients a low dose CT (LDCT) scan can save lives.

"The more projects there are like this, the more evidence we can collect to demonstrate that lung cancer screening works and the more pressure this puts on the National Screening Committee."
Paula Chadwick, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

One of the lives saved was Bill Simpson, who was diagnosed with early stage lung cancer after he attended the charity’s lung health check programme in 2017.

“Our project in Nottingham,” Paula continues “along with other similar programmes around the UK and now the results from the NELSON study prove lung cancer screening works.

“Whilst these individual programmes, like this latest one in Yorkshire, are a huge step forward, there are still too many people who are being denied the opportunity to have their lung cancer diagnosed early and so we will continue to campaign for the implementation of a national Lung cancer screening programme as we have done for the past 28 years.”

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