Following the success of Lung Health Checks in Hull, which have to date assessed over 15,000 people for lung related health problems and helped to detect 75-80% of lung cancer cases at earlier stages, I am proud to announce that Lung Health Checks are now also available in North East Lincolnshire.
It’s the NHS’ Long Term Plan ambition to detect more cancers at an earlier stage, saving thousands more lives. Cancer screening plays a key role in this.
I am privileged to have worked with a fantastic team on the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme in Hull for the last three years, one of 23 pilot lung screening programmes across the UK.
The Lung Health Check programme checks those most at risk of developing lung cancer and helps to detect lung cancer cases earlier than usual, giving people improved chances of treatment being effective and ultimately saving lives.
The programme is being offered to over 19,000 past and present smokers aged 55-74, in a phased approach over the next year. It started in Immingham in January and will gradually move across the county by GP practice. Anyone who is eligible will be written to and invited to book an appointment at a time that’s convenient to them when the unit is in their area.
Lung Health Checks consist of an initial telephone consultation that runs through any breathing issues people may be having, as well as lifestyle, family and medical history. If a certain level of risk is identified, then the person might be invited for a low dose CT scan on a mobile unit in the local community.
The scan only takes a few minutes, and our units are in easy to reach places, such as shopping centre and supermarket car parks, meaning people can easily park up and call in while going about the day-to-day business.
Lung Health Checks don’t just look for cancer, they can also diagnose a range of illness, such as emphysema, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Like cancer, the earlier these diseases are found the easier they can be to treat and in turn this ultimately saves more lives.
I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across North East Lincolnshire to encourage people to take up these vital lifesaving checks and welcome your support with raising awareness of the programme in whatever way you can. If you would like to find out more about Lung Health Checks visit www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.