NHS England has announced that lung cancer scanning trucks that operate from supermarket car parks are being rolled out across the country in a drive to save lives by catching the condition early – and Blackpool is to be one the first areas to benefit from the new initiative.
Around £70 million will fund 10 projects nationally that check those most at risk, inviting them for an MOT for their lungs and an on-the-spot chest scan that include mobile clinics. The Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance will coordinate the service in Blackpool.
The targeted screening will help improve survival rates by going first to some of the areas with the highest death rates from lung cancer.
A recent study showed CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 26 per cent in men and between 39 per cent and 61 per cent in women.
Blackpool has a higher rate of lung cancer than the national average, due mainly to the prevalence of smoking in the area, and is a contributing factor to life-expectancy being one of the lowest in the entire country for men and women.
The roll-out has the potential to reach around 32,854 people in Blackpool over four years.
Dr Adam Janjua, chair of the Fylde Coast cancer steering group, said: “This is a great initiative and I am very happy to see Blackpool as one of the first in the country to reap the benefits of the new scanning trucks. Lung cancer is a big problem in the region and we know how vitally important the screening process is to catching the disease early and, ultimately, saving lives. We will strive to improve our clinical services in areas like lung cancer and will also continue to inform the public of the dangers of smoking.”
The NHS Long Term Plan set out an ambition that 55,000 more people will survive their cancer – to achieve this the plan also included an ambition to increase the number of cancers diagnosed at stages one and two from half to three-quarters of cancer patients.
The planning process will now begin and details of the official roll-out will be available at a later date.
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