Over 1million current and ex-smokers to get free lung cancer checks on the NHS – are you eligible? | The Sun

MORE than 1million current and ex-smokers are being given lung cancer checks on the NHS.

They have been invited for a free screening as part of the biggest programme of its kind in the health service’s history.

Dozens of scanning sites have been set up at football stadiums, shopping car parks and town centres across England.

Some 2,400 cancers have already been caught through the scheme, with three quarters found at the earliest stages of one and two — when survival chances are highest.

Professor Peter Johnson, of the NHS, said: “The NHS targeted lung check programme is the latest in a series of measures to catch cancer early.

“There are also record numbers receiving treatment for cancer over the last year thanks to the health service investing in the latest technology and treatments for patients.

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“Symptoms of lung cancer can include a long-standing cough and persistent breathlessness and former or current smokers are most at risk.

“Catching cancer early makes it more treatable, so if something in your body doesn’t feel right make sure to speak to your GP and if you receive your invitation for a targeted lung health check, please attend.”

Around 48,500 Brits are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, making it the third most common type of the disease in the Uk.

Just one in 10 patients live longer than 10 years after the disease is spotted, according to Cancer Research UK.

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However, your chances of survival are better if the cancer is caught in early stages, before it has spread to other parts of the body.

The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check aims to spot the disease before it becomes symptomatic in current and former smokers, who are more at risk.

Some 1.05million people have been invited for a check already.

Michelle Mitchell, of Cancer Research UK, said: “Lung cancer takes more lives than any other cancer, but an early diagnosis can greatly improve the chance of survival. 

“That’s why lung health checks for people at high risk of the disease are so important. 

“It's a testament to hard working NHS staff that over one million eligible people in England have been invited to attend an appointment and we urge people to take up this potentially lifesaving offer.”

Paula Chadwick, of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: "When it comes to diagnosing lung cancer, speed is paramount. 

“This milestone means more people are being given the opportunity to get that potentially life-saving diagnosis.

"The NHS is playing its part in improving the earlier diagnosis of lung cancer but invitees have to play theirs too.

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"We have seen many examples of people being diagnosed with early stage lung cancer who didn't have any symptoms. 

“This is why it is so important to have the check even if you feel well. These checks are here to help, so let them help.”

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