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Targeted Lung Health Check

Your lungs work hard for you every minute of your life. As you get older, it's worth getting them checked out.

Lung cancer is frequently diagnosed at a later stage than other cancers because often there are no signs or symptoms at an early stage. The Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is a new pilot scheme designed to identify signs of cancer at an early stage when it is much more treatable - ultimately saving move lives.

The programme is being offered to people between the ages of 55 and 74 who are current or former smokers and at greater risk of lung cancer. Those eligible will be sent a letter to invite them for a Lung Health Check.

The Lung Heath Check finds out how well a participant’s lungs are working and hopes to identify problems early. Most of the time no issue is found, but if cancer or an issue with a participant’s breathing or lungs is found early, treatment could be simpler and more successful.

What happens during the check? There are two main stages to a Targeted Lung Health Check. The first is an initial assessment with a health professional and the second, if necessary, is a simple scan of the lungs.

Easy read booklet

Find out more about Lung Health Checks here

Initial assessment:

  • If you are eligible, you will receive a letter from your GP practice inviting you for an initial Lung Health Check. This will take place over the phone and last around 30 minutes.
  • At the Lung Health Check, you will be asked some questions about your breathing, overall lung health, lifestyle and family and medical history.
  • Measurements of your height and weight will be taken.
  • There are three possible results from your lung health check:
    • No problems found – the nurse may find nothing further to investigate and you will be discharged from the lung health check programme. We will write to your GP to tell them this.

    • Referral to your GP – if problem with your breathing or lung health are found, you might be referred to your GP. We will write to your GP so they know about the appointment.

    • Offered a scan of your lungs - whether you are offered a lung scan will depend on your chance of getting lung cancer now or in the future. We work out your risk from your lifestyle, medical and family history. The nurse will help you to choose whether the test is right for you. We will write to your GP so they know about the appointment.

Lung scan:

  • The lung cancer scan uses a low-dose CT scanner to take a detailed picture of your lungs, to check for the early signs of lung cancer.
  • The appointment will last approximately 30 minutes and you’ll have a chance to ask the nurse any questions.
  • If your scan results come back with signs of anything concerning, you’ll be contacted with further information and referred for further tests and treatment.
  • The lung scan is on a mobile truck and can take place in a variety of locations including your local hospital, supermarket or local community carpark.

Lung cancer - signs and symptoms

Dr Neil Smith on Lung Cancer signs and symptoms:


Frequently Asked Questions:

The aim of the programme is to detect lung cancer and disease early so that people can be treated sooner and more effectively – ultimately saving more lives. Lung cancer often has no symptoms in the earlier stages which can result in it not being found until the later stages when outcomes are less favourable.

The Lung Health Check takes part in two stages. The first is an appointment with a specially trained nurse to assess your risk level. If you are found to be at high risk of having lung cancer you will be invited to have a low dose CT scan so we can capture an image of your lungs and identify if there are any issues which need further investigation or treatment.

The first phase will be carried out via phone call. If you are invited to have a CT scan these will be carried out by radiographers on mobile units or at a local hospital. The mobile units will be parked in community venues or supermarket car parks which have good transport links for ease of access.

Should anything be identified either during the discussion with a nurse or from the CT scan, then you will be contacted by telephone or letter with the next steps. If you have any questions you can speak to the staff on site or contact 01530 432341 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm. 

The Targeted Lung Health Check is currently being offered to those most at risk of getting lung cancer. Data shows those between the age of 55 and 74 who currently or previously smoked are at a higher risk than others of getting lung cancer. If you display any symptoms or have any concerns about your lung health you should book an appointment to see your GP straight away.

The Targeted Lung Health Checks have started in the area so please wait for the information from your GP.

Yes. If you are eligible for this service, please book your transport to your lung health check appointment in your usual way.

You may need to remove your coat, but you can leave your clothing on.

The Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is being rolled out across the England. The areas with higher lung cancer mortality rates are being prioritised first and new locations will be available from April 2022. If you are worried about any of the below symptoms, please see your GP as soon as possible:

  • A persistent cough or change in your normal cough
  • Coughing up blood

  • Being short of breath

  • Unexplained tiredness or weight loss

  • An ache or pain when breathing or coughing

  • Appetite loss

Who's on the team?

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John Howells, Consultant Radiologist at Royal Preston Hospital
Clinical Director of the Targeted Lung Health Project

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