People living in a number of locations in the East of England are being offered a free lung health check if they are aged from 55 to 74, who smoke or who have had a history of smoking.
Lung health checks aim to identify a person's risk of developing or having lung cancer and if any risks are identified, a low-dose CT scan may be offered.
In the East of England, health checks were initially introduced in Luton and Thurrock, then in Southend, Bedford, Harlow, Great Yarmouth and Central Bedfordshire.
Our Targeted Lung Health Check regional website is available at: Home (eoelunghealthcheck.nhs.uk) This has information about locations, guidance for booking appointments and videos about the process involved. Please visit this website for further information.
What does a Lung Health Check involve?
Lung health checks are completely free. You will receive a letter inviting you to an appointment for an initial health assessment. Appointments are carried out over the telephone with a specialist nurse, lasting approximately 20-30 minutes. The nurse will ask you some questions about your breathing and overall lung health. They will also ask you about your lifestyle, family and medical history. You do not need to do a breathing test; the nurse can get all the information they need from the questions.
There are three possible results from your assessment: no problems found - with nothing further to investigate and you will be discharged from the LHC programme, a referral to your GP (if you have any problems with breathing or lung health) or a scan of your lungs.
As part of your Lung Health Check, you may be offered a low dose CT scan at a mobile unit. This is to check for early signs of lung cancer as well as other lung diseases. You will have plenty of time to talk to the nurse and ask any questions you may have. The tests are carried out in mobile units.
Lung health checks can give you the reassurance that your lungs are healthy or can help find problems early – often before you notice anything is wrong. If lung conditions, or other problems with your breathing or lungs are found early, treatment can be simpler and more successful.
Attending a CT scan - pros and cons of attending a CT scan - by Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation