TARGETED lung health checks in England involving mobile units have led to around 600 patients being diagnosed with lung cancer at an early stage, says NHS England.
NHS teams at 23 "lung truck sites" have issued up to 25,000 invitations per month for lung MOTs in patients most at risk from lung cancer, including current and ex-smokers. The MOTs involve an on-spot chest scan, with early detection leading often to a better prognosis.
NHS England says the community initiative, part of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme, has seen 77 per cent of cancers caught at either stage one or two compared to less than a third of cancers caught at either stage one or two in 2018.
People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.
NHS England plans to establish a further 20 NHS lung truck sites with capacity to issue invitations for lung MOTs to 750,000 more people at increased risk. NHS lung trucks visit convenient community sites, including supermarket carparks, sports and shopping centres.
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS clinical director for cancer said: "Lung cancer can often be hard to detect at an early stage and so these checks, close to people’s homes, show how the NHS is taking action to find more people with cancer.
"Lives are saved when cancers are caught early and when more people are referred for tests, which is why the NHS has put so much effort into early diagnosis in recent years."