Lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Wales and the leading cause of cancer deaths. Late stage diagnosis has a significant impact on mortality. When lung cancer is diagnosed at Stage 1, there is an 85 per cent chance of survival, compared to just 15 per cent when identified at Stage 4
In 2022 the UK National Screening Committee recommended that the four nations move towards implementation of targeted lung cancer screening with integrated smoking cessation service provision. Lung Health Checks (LHCs) are a targeted health intervention which includes low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for participants identified as “high risk”.
In Wales, Lung Health Checks are currently being piloted in the North Rhondda area of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. Individuals aged 60 to 74 who are current or former smokers from selected doctors' surgeries in the area are being invited for a Lung Health Check: a telephone triage followed, where appropriate, by a CT scan.
Moondance Cancer Initiative are supporting this work by funding a Lung Cancer Navigator. The navigator will guide people through the lung cancer clinical pathway efficiently, ensuring that patients receive the appropriate clinical care as early as possible. They will also support the evaluation of this service to inform the future wider roll out across Wales.
By the end of 2023, 500 patients will have received their scans and many more will have had an exploratory conversation over the phone determining that they do not need a scan at this stage. As Wales considers options for a national lung screening programme, this exciting piece of work adds valuable insight to the delivery of the lung health checks while supporting those in the pilot area to reach point of diagnosis and treatment more quickly.
Find out more about the roll out of Lung Health Checks in Wales here.