Hundreds of people diagnosed with cancer early through life-saving NHS lung checks


Hundreds of people have been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier through NHS mobile trucks, as part of the biggest programme to improve early lung cancer diagnosis in health service history.

Thanks to NHS teams who are making it even easier for people to get a Lung MOT in travelling trucks visiting different areas across the country, 600 people have been diagnosed earlier.

The community initiative, part of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme, has seen more than three quarters (77%) of cancers caught at either stage one or two, giving patients a much better chance of beating the illness. This compares to less than a third of cancers caught at either stage one or two in 2018.

People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.

Mobile trucks are scanning those most at risk from lung cancer, including current and ex-smokers, inviting them for an MOT of their lungs and an on the spot chest scan for those at highest risk.

Today, NHS cancer chiefs are urging those most at risk of lung cancer to come forward as soon as they are invited for a life-saving health check, to help even more people benefit from early diagnosis.

The call comes as new figures show only a third (35%) of patients go to their lung health check when invited by the NHS.

A further 20 NHS lung truck sites are due to go live shortly with the capacity to invite 750,000 more people at increased risk for a check, in efforts to catch thousands more cancers at an earlier stage.

So far, the 23 existing truck sites have issued up to 25,000 invitations every month.

As set out in the NHS elective recovery plan earlier this year, the NHS will increase capacity to deliver around 17 million diagnostic tests over a three-year period.