MORE than 1 million current and former smokers are being screened for lung cancer by the NHS.
You have been invited to a free screening as part of the largest program of its kind in healthcare history.
Dozens of scanning sites have been set up in football stadiums, shopping car parks and city centers across England.
Around 2,400 cancers have already been detected through the program, with three quarters detected in the earliest stages one and two – when the chances of survival are highest.
Professor Peter Johnson from the NHS said: “The NHS targeted lung screening program is the latest in a series of measures to detect cancer early.”
“Last year also saw record numbers of cancer treatments thanks to the health sector’s investment in cutting-edge technology and treatment options for patients.
“Symptoms of lung cancer can include long-standing cough and persistent shortness of breath. Former or current smokers are most at risk.
“If you detect cancer early, it is more treatable. So if something doesn’t feel right in your body, be sure to talk to your primary care doctor. If you receive an invitation for a targeted lung health check, please come along.”
Around 48,500 Brits are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, making it the third most common type of disease in the UK.
According to Cancer Research UK, only one in ten patients live longer than ten years after the disease is discovered.
However, your chances of survival are better if the cancer is detected at an early stage, before it has spread to other parts of the body.
The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check aims to detect the disease before it shows symptoms in current and former smokers who are at higher risk.
Around 1.05 million people have already been invited to receive a check.
Michelle Mitchell, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer, but early diagnosis can significantly improve the chances of survival.”
“That’s why lung health screenings are so important for people at high risk of disease.
“It’s a testament to hard-working NHS staff that over one million eligible people in England have been invited for an appointment and we urge people to take up this potentially life-saving offer.”
Paula Chadwick, from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: “Speed is essential when diagnosing lung cancer.
“This milestone means more people will have the opportunity to receive this potentially life-saving diagnosis.
“The NHS is doing its part to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer, but those invited must also do their part.”
“We have seen many examples of people diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer who had no symptoms.
“That’s why it’s so important to have the check done, even if you’re feeling well. These checks are meant to help, so let them help.”