Past and current smokers in Hounslow are being invited for a free NHS Lung Health Check in a drive to improve earlier diagnosis of lung conditions, including cancer.
Approximately 1 in 8 adults smoke in Hounslow currently.This new initiative means around 22,000 people aged 55 to 74 in Hounslow will be invited to a Lung Health Check as part of the RM Partners West London Cancer Alliance programme.
The Lung Health Check takes place in two stages. The first is an initial phone assessment with a specially trained respiratory nurse. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they are offered a low dose CT scan of the lungs at a mobile scanning unit based at a local accessible site. Brief advice and links to local stop smoking services are also available.
If patients need further assessment or treatment following their scan, they will be referred on to local services such as West Middlesex Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Lucy Doherty, local GP and GP clinical lead for cancer in Hounslow said: ‘With great partnership work and collaboration between Hounslow GPs, Royal Brompton Hospital, West Middlesex Hospital and RM Partners, we are excited to start the Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) project in Hounslow. Patients who are eligible, following a health check screen, may be offered a low dose CT scan of their lungs. The aim is to pick up lung cancers, and other lung-related health problems, at an earlier stage, leading to better outcomes for our patients needing treatment.’
Dr Anand Devaraj, Consultant Radiologist at Royal Brompton Hospital and Clinical Director for the West London Lung Health Checks Programme said: ‘The start of the Targeted Lung Health Checks project in Hounslow is an exciting step towards accelerating early diagnosis and improving outcomes for patients. We would encourage everyone who receives an invitation to take advantage of this opportunity. A simple check could lead to an earlier diagnosis of lung cancer or other respiratory conditions with a much better chance of being able to treat them successfully. It’s thanks to great teamwork and a collaborative effort across our local services that we’re able to provide this service for people in Hounslow, which will ultimately help us save more lives.’
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Notes to editors:
The project is a collaboration between RM Partners, the West London Cancer Alliance hosted by The Royal Marsden, Royal Brompton Hospital, and North West London Integrated Care System (ICS). More information on lung health checks in west London is available at: lunghealthchecks-westlondon.nhs.uk
Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of death from cancer in the UK because there are rarely symptoms in the earlier stages. This means many people are diagnosed late, when treatment has a more limited impact. The aim of the project is to find more lung cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage.
To date the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme has enabled more than three quarters (77%) of cancers to be diagnosed/identified at either stage one or two, giving patients a much better chance of having successful treatment. In 2018, fewer than a third of lung cancers were diagnosed at either stage one or two.
People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for at least five years than those whose cancer is caught late.
The Targeted Lung Health Check programme estimates it will diagnose around 9,000 cancers earlier than would otherwise have been within the 43 sites running the checks. This offers the opportunity for earlier interventions, including curative surgery, which will save people’s lives. Stop smoking advice will also be offered to support current smokers.