Life-saving lung cancer checks offered to Southwark smokers

A new NHS lung health check is being rolled out across Southwark for the first time, to ensure people who are at risk of developing lung cancer and other respiratory conditions are diagnosed early.

Residents in Southwark who are aged 55 to 74 and registered as a current or former smoker with their GP, are being invited for a free NHS lung health check.

The checks can detect lung cancer before symptoms appear, allowing doctors time to treat patients early on when the chances of survival are higher.

Currently, the number of new lung cancer cases in South-east London accounts for the highest in London, with the majority of these cases diagnosed at a later stage.

Only 24 per cent of lung cancers in South-east London are diagnosed early (stage 1 and 2), demonstrating the need to offer these new checks to those most at risk.

The South East London Cancer Alliance and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust began piloting the programme in October, with plans to extend to other parts of South-east London next year.

So far, more than 4,000 people living in Southwark have received a letter in the post, inviting them to book an initial nurse-led assessment, which will explore chest symptoms and any risk of lung cancer. Those considered to be at high risk will be offered a low dose CT scan.

The lung scans are currently taking place in a community van at the Asda Superstore in the Old Kent Road –  to improve healthcare access and minimise travel time for hundreds of residents.

Pictured top: The scan in the mobile screening van (Picture: South East London Cancer Care Alliance)


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