Anyone over 55 who has EVER smoked should get a lung scan to check for cancer, suggests national screening agency
- Britons over 55 who have ever smoked should get a lung cancer check
- Recommendations call for mass rollout of checks for 55-74 year-olds
- 35,000 people die every year from the UK’s most common cause of cancer
Anyone over the age of 55 who has ever smoked a cigarette in their life should get a lung scan to check for cancer, a national screening agency has suggested.
The UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) has called for mass screening to tackle the most common cause of cancer death in Britain.
It has advised that anyone between the ages of 55 and 74 who smokes or has done so in the past should get an assessment.
A low-dose CT scan would be offered to those considered to be at high risk for lung cancer, the plans suggest.
About 35,000 people die from lung cancer each year, with about 48,000 developing the disease most commonly caused by smoking.
Anyone over the age of 55 who has ever smoked a cigarette in their life should get a lung scan to check for cancer, a national screening agency has suggested. file image
Outcomes for lung cancer patients are always poor as cases are often picked up late, experts warn.
More than half of people with stage one lung cancer live five or more years after diagnosis.
But fewer than five in 100 patients with stage four are alive five years after their diagnosis.
The recommendation was supported by Cancer Research UK, with the Executive Director calling for it to be rolled out ‘as soon as possible’.
“We welcome this recommendation and urge governments in all four UK countries to roll out a targeted lung cancer screening program as soon as possible,” said Dr Ian Walker. The Telegraph.
‘Lung cancer causes more deaths in the UK than any other cancer type, and screening could save lives by diagnosing people at an earlier stage – when the chances of treatment success are higher.’
The decision to adopt recommendations is taken by the government ministers. They usually accept UKNSC proposals, but can take years to implement.
In a pilot project, the number of identified stage one and two lung cancers quadrupled when a mobile CT scanner was placed in shopping mall parking garages.
The UKNSC previously advised against the targeted checks 15 years ago, which was the last time it formally considered lung cancer screening in the UK.
More than 70 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. The addiction also increases a person’s risk of 14 other cancers. file image
The new advice called for modeling to provide more detailed recommendations.
The committee also proposes that people who still smoke if they undergo screening for lung cancer should be advised on how to stop.
More than 70 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. The addiction also increases a person’s risk of 14 other cancers.
dr. Walker called the recommendations an opportunity for Liz Truss to “put cancer first”, adding that it could have a significant impact on Britons.
In the UK, targeted lung cancer checks are already being offered through pilot projects in 23 areas.
The schemes are being called a ‘feasible and effective starting point for implementation in England’, screening advisers told The Telegraph.
Former health minister Sajid Javid declared a “war on cancer” before stepping down from the post earlier this year.
Therese Coffey, the new health secretary, has been urged to publish a 10-year strategy to fight cancer in the UK, following warnings that delays in treatments and diagnosis have affected nearly 55,000 people.