Largest lung cancer screening trial in UK
London: Of all the diseases that kill people in Britain, lung cancer comes on top. Around 35,000 patients die from lung cancer in the UK in a year. But there is no routine screening available for the killer disease yet like in other types of cancers such as breast, bowel and cervical cancer.
"Currently there is no national screening programme for lung cancer but what we hope to do is demonstrate that it's achievable and affordable within the National Health Service" said professor Sam Janes, respiratory consultant.
Now University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and UCL is organizing a trial to screen for lung cancer that will take place in 2019. Around 50,000 people from London are to take part in the largest ever trial to screen lung cancer in the UK.
This large-scale study is aimed at detecting cancer at an early stage among the people who may be at risk and also to support the development of a new blood test. For the screening the organizers are taking people aged 50-77.
As is always the case, patients come at a stage when there is no effective treatment for the disease. "I had a bit of a smoker's cough but not much of one because I didn't smoke very much. I got told in the presentation later that most people don't actually get a growth discovered until stage 4 by which time its often terminal" said Anton Franks, Lung Screening Patient.
In 2016 Anton was given a lung health-check screening, which showed he had a tiny cancerous nodule. The nodule was removed. "So if people get the opportunity to have the screening, I would strongly recommend that people go for it" , says Anton.
The organizers expect that a national screening programme can be established which can help detect possible lung cancer in hundreds of people in the near future.