NHS invites more than 1 million people for lung cancer checks
The NHS has invited people at risk of lung cancer from across the country to attend local consultations in convenient locations, such as shopping car parks and town centres.
Almost 2,400 cancers have already been caught through the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme – with around three-quarters caught at the earliest stages of one and two, where chances of survival are much higher.
The news comes as a record 335,000 people have started treatment for cancer in the last year (July 2022 to June 2023), up by over 20,000 on the same period before the pandemic (July 2018 to June 2019).
NHS leaders are urging everyone who receives an invitation for a lung health check to attend, regardless of whether they think they are in good health or not.
Smoking is just one of many contributing factors to lung cancer. Prolonged exposure to respiratory hazards, such as silica, disel exhaust and asbestos can also contribute. Research undertaken by Cancer Research has found that exposure to health hazards at work contribute to approximately 4 in every 100 cases in the UK.
Following recommendations from the UK National Screening Committee and Government announcement in July 2023, this national lung screening programme is being rolled out across England and will use GP records to identify those most at risk.
Through the targeted lung health check programme, thousands of people with other undiagnosed respiratory conditions have also been diagnosed, allowing them to get treatment much quicker and prevent potential hospitalisation down the line.
Thanks to awareness campaigns and early diagnosis drives, the NHS has been seeing and treating record numbers of people for cancer, with over 2.8 million getting checked for cancer in 2022, and over 320,000 people received treatment for cancer in the same year – up on 2.35 million checks and 8,000 treatments in the same period before the pandemic.
The main symptoms of lung cancer include:
- a cough that does not go away after three weeks
- a long-standing cough that gets worse
- chest infections that keep coming back
- coughing up blood
- an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
- persistent breathlessness
- persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.
Whether in industrial settings where workers are exposed to hazardous fumes, construction sites with airborne pollutants, or healthcare environments dealing with infectious agents, respiratory protective equipment (RPE) can play a pivotal role in safeguarding the health of individuals.
By providing a layer of defense that filters out harmful agents from the lungs, RPE significantly reduces the risk of prolonged exposure to hazardous – and sometimes carcinogenic – substances.
For more information on regulations, RPE and PPE, you can speak to one of our RPE Experts using the button below.