SMOKERS in Rugby and Coventry are being invited to a NHS lung health check in a drive to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and save lives.
With one of the highest mortality rates for lung cancer in England, the region is one of 23 areas across the country to run the Targeted Lung Health Check programme.
The initiative, run by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and InHealth Group, means more than 13,500 past and current smokers aged 55 to 74 in Coventry and Rugby will be invited to a lung health check by their GP.
The initiative aims to identify an estimated 300 cases of lung cancer earlier than otherwise would have been.
The lung health check takes place in two stages. The first is an initial phone assessment with a healthcare professional. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they are offered a low dose CT scan of the lungs for further investigation.
The scanner is housed in a mobile unit and is being taken to accessible areas in Coventry and Rugby. It is currently at the Tesco Extra car park in Walsgrave Triangle.
The programme is designed to check those most at risk of developing lung cancer in order to spot signs earlier, at the stage when it is more treatable.
The Targeted Lung Health Check programme estimates it will diagnose around 6,000 cancers earlier than would otherwise have been within the 23 places it is currently established – meaning earlier interventions, including curative surgery, can be offered. Stop smoking advice will also be offered to support current smokers.
Dr Dhananjay Desai, Consultant Respiratory Physician at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, said: “With this project in Coventry and Rugby we are hoping that early detection of lung cancer and other serious lung problems will lead to better outcomes for our patients.
“To get this three-year project going has taken extraordinary effort and collaboration with various organisations, all during the pandemic. It is anticipated that this project will eventually be rolled out nationally and we are happy that Coventry and Rugby has been picked among the first areas to benefit from this lung screening programme.
“We want to really thank Tesco for letting us use their car park for this extremely important initiative.”
Visit www.happyhealthylives.uk/lunghealthcheck for more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme.