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Sunday 18th March 2018

Lung cancer screening tests

9th May 2008

A trial is being launched across six hospitals in England to see if there is a way of detecting those at greatest risk of developing lung cancer.


The trial among 1,300 smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) is being funded by Cancer Research UK.

Evidence suggests that if lung cancer is detected and treated earlier, survival rates improved considerably.

About 38,000 people a year in the UK are diagnosed with lung cancer, with 33,000 deaths every year from the condition.

However, at present only 7% of patients are still alive five years after diagnosis, though if certain types of lung cancer are detected early and at an operable stage that five-year survival figures soars to 80%.

Hospitals taking part are University College Hospital, London; Royal Brompton Hospital, London; Papworth Hospital, Cambridge; St James’ Hospital, Leeds; Glenfield Hospital, Leicester; and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London.

Patients will give samples phlegm to be tested twice a year, with further checks if abnormal cells are found and treatments offered.

Study leader Professor Stephen Spiro of University College London said: “Many of the tests that have been used to screen for lung cancer have not been able to pick up very early signs of the disease so we’re using two new tests which we think could be better at picking up lung cancer earlier.?

Kate Law from Cancer Research UK said: “This is a very important trial and it may be the first step towards an effective screening test for lung cancer in those at high-risk of the disease.?


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