Moves towards lung cancer screening programme27th December 2008
Steps have been taken towards setting up a national lung cancer screening programme.
A team from Liverpool University, backed by the government, is pioneering use of CT scans to detect early disease in those who have not yet developed symptoms.
A feasibility study is being carried out and if the initial findings are positive there are plans to set up a two-centre pilot study within six months.
The move follows a report from the National Cancer Research Institute that showed there was the lowest level of investment in lung cancer, despite it having the highest incidence and killing 33,500 people every year in this country.
In addition, many of the 100 people diagnosed every day have little chance of survival because of the late stage the disease has reached.
Professor John Field, director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Research Programme, at the University of Liverpool said: "The problem with lung cancer has been that many of these individuals are identified with late disease and possibly only have six months to live.
"Screening to detect the disease before patients develop any symptoms is a method that urgently requires evaluation as surgical resection at an early stage of the disease remains the only realistic option for a cure."
The team plan to test 14,000 people with half having a lung CT scan and then follow a questionnaire to identify those most likely to develop lung cancer in the next few years.
CT scans can pick up tumours at an early stage before symptoms become apparent.
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Title: Moves towards lung cancer screening programme
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 9667
Date Added: 27th Dec 2008