The NHS has announced plans to rollout lung cancer scanning trucks across the country, operating from supermarket car parks and aiming to save lives by catching the condition early.
The targeted screening will help improve survival rates by going first to the some of the areas with the highest death rates from lung cancer, after a recent study showed computed tomography (CT) screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 26% in men and between 39% and 61% in women.
The roll out has the potential to reach around 600,000 people over four years, detecting approximately 3,400 cancers and saving hundreds of lives across the country.
The news comes after the NHS Long Term Plan set out an ambition that 55,000 more people will survive their cancer – to achieve this the plan also included an ambition to increase the number of cancers diagnosed at stages one and two from half to three-quarters of cancer patients.
Prior to the study 18% of lung cancers were diagnosed at stage one and 48% stage four. After the study, 68% of lung cancers were diagnosed at stage one and 11% were stage four.
Cally Palmer, national cancer director at NHS England, said: “Catching more cancers early is a cornerstone of the NHS Long Term Plan to save a further 55,000 lives a year and targeted lung health checks is one of the first projects to roll out following publication.
“These new projects will save lives – early diagnosis for cancer is crucial as it is easier to treat, not only saving lives, but it will also mean thousands of patients will avoid life changing treatments.”
Areas to receive funding include Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria, South and West Yorkshire and East Midlands among others.