Car park cancer screening could improve early detection

22 November 2017 09:12

One in 33 patients were diagnosed with cancer as part of the pilot

One in 33 patients were diagnosed with cancer as part of the pilot

Mobile cancer screening units in shopping centre car parks are to be rolled out across the UK, aimed at improving early detection rates of the disease.

Following the success of the Manchester Lung Screening Pilot - Britain's first NHS community-based, lung cancer screening service - NHS England plans to expand the scheme across other parts of the country.

A successful pilot

The health body invited 2,500 "at risk" men and women to attend a CT scan. The patients are all aged between 55 and 74, with a history of smoking.

Lung health checks were then completed at one of the mobile units based in car parks in Greater Manchester.

Results for the trial - funded by Macmillan Cancer Support - helped diagnose around 75 people (3% of patients included in the study).

Of those diagnosed, 80% of the cancers discovered were in the earlier stages of the disease's progression; stage one or stage two.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, has announced plans for a nationwide roll-out of the initiative, including London, the North and Yorkshire.

"Over the next 18 months the NHS will be rolling out new mobile and home screening kits to detect cancers earlier, when they can be treated best," he said.

Well-received by professionals

Dany Bell, specialist adviser for treatment and recovery at Macmillan Cancer Support, says lung cancer is "notoriously difficult" to diagnose early.

He says the announcement is "great news", adding: "The earlier that someone is diagnosed with cancer, the better their chance of successful treatment is."

Paula Chadwick, chief executive at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, mirrored Mr Bell's comments, saying early detection of Lung cancer is" key to improving cancer survival rates".

She added: "We know that when lung cancer is caught early, survival rates significantly improve so scanning high-risk patients means we are able to identify patients earlier and offer curative treatment."

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