In a recent trial, more than 40 people who were unaware they were in the early stages of lung cancer have received life-saving treatment.
Called the ‘Leeds Lung Health Check’, organisers have said it was the largest lung cancer screening trial in the UK.
It is a four-year project funded by the Yorkshire Cancer Research, a charity that said lung cancer was frequently diagnoses at a later stage when treatment options were limited and the rate of survival lower.
The project is costing around £5.2 million, and has screened 3,000 people in Leeds for the early signs of lung cancer since it launched back in 2018.
The charity hopes to check around 7,000 people who are current or former smokers, aged between 55 and 80. These individuals are invited to attend through their GP and the process includes test to assess lung function, and an x-ray called a screening CT scan.
Dr Kathryn Scott, chief executive of Yorkshire Cancer Research, stated “it’s incredible to see the difference the Leeds Lung Health Check is already making to the lives of people living in Leeds.”
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Yorkshire- 4,632 people were diagnosed in 2017, with 3,311 people dying from it.
One patient, Sheila Benson, said she attended an appointment at the mobile screening unit at a shopping centre in Leeds in November of last year.
“It’s incredible to see the difference the Leeds Lung Health Check is already making to the lives of people living in Leeds.”-Dr Kathryn Scott
A 67 year old former smoker, she said she would “go just to double-check”, and after a follow-up appointment at hospital, she was told she had lung cancer.
“They did scans, and then found cancer in my kidney too. (This) was a different type of cancer to the lung- so I was doubly lucky that it had been caught in time to operate.” She has now received the all-clear.
The trial, delivered in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust, the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council, is aiming to provide information for future lung screening programmes, along with the test screening they are currently delivering in community settings.
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