NHS lung truck programme results in earlier cancer diagnosis
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Targeted lung health checks were introduced by the NHS in 2019 to take cancer teams into the heart of communities in supermarket car parks, making them accessible to those most at risk of the disease.
And for the first time, data shows more than a third (34.5 per cent) of those diagnosed with lung cancer from the most deprived parts of England had been at stage one or two in 2022 – up from 30 per cent in 2019.
There are 11 mobile sites across the North West region, which have delivered nearly 60,000 lung health checks in a year.
The aim of the checks is to diagnose people with lung cancer at the earliest stages, when they are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.
Invitations are sent to those older than 55 but younger than 75, who have smoked and are registered with a GP in an area there is a mobile truck.
Dr Michael Gregory, regional medical director for NHS England in the North West, said: "We know that some of the most deprived communities in England are in the North West, so the news of success of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme in the region is so positive.
“It is incredibly important that we continue to work harder to make sure that all of our communities have access to the cancer care that they need, and do all we can to diagnose cancers at their earliest stages, when they are easier to treat.
“If you’ve had an invitation to book an appointment at your local lung truck, please don’t ignore it, it could save your life.”
The trucks do not only diagnose cancer, but have also been known to identify thousands of underlying health conditions including respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
This also allows people to access the treatment they need earlier than they would otherwise and helps to prevent potential admissions to hospital.