Mansfield and Warsop MP Ben Bradley has welcomed the news that the government will be introducing a national targeted lung cancer screening programme. The programme will focus on those aged 55-74 who are at high risk of lung cancer due to factors such as occupation or smoking history and follows recommendations from the UK National Screening Committee.
This expansion follows an initial targeted pilot programme that took place in Mansfield and Ashfield. Mansfield was chosen, following a long campaign by Ben, due to both its mining history and high prevalence of smoking.
Around 35,000 people die and 48,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. It has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. This is largely because lung cancer tends to be diagnosed at a late stage, when treatment is much less likely to be effective. When fully rolled out, this new national screening programme will detect around 9,000 more cancers year at an early stage.
As smoking causes 72% of lung cancers, the programme will use a history of smoking from GP records to identify the cohort eligible for screening. Current or former smokers aged 55 to under 75 years will have an initial assessment of their individual lung cancer risk. Anyone assessed as being at high risk will be referred to have a CT scan. They will be reinvited for a further scan every 24 months, until they age out of the programme. Patients will also be signposted to smoking cessation services.
Commenting, Ben Bradley stated:
‘Lung cancer is a terrible disease and is incredibly difficult to diagnose at an early stage due to the lack of symptoms. That is why precautionary screening is so important in the battle against lung cancer.’
‘We have been lucky in Mansfield to have been previously selected for the early pilot of the lung screening programme. Following the success of this pilot I am pleased to see it expanded nationally.’
‘I personally went along last year and saw the amazing work being done by the lung screening team and the difference it was making to people in Mansfield. I know the expansion of this scheme will help thousands more people across England and I would like to thank the government for implementing it.’