Thousands to be screened for lung cancer in Leeds

THE UK's largest lung cancer screening trial is to take place in Leeds following a £5.2m investment by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The trial will focus on smokers and ex-smokers aged 55 to 80

Around 7,000 people are set to be screened during testing, which will be carried out in mobile vans travelling to Leeds South & East and Leeds West CCGs.

In all five projects - and a total of £7m will be spent - as part of the charity’s wider strategy to ensure 2,000 more people in Yorkshire survive cancer every year by 2025.

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Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the region, with more than half the 4,500 people diagnosed every year having a very advanced form of the disease, and an extremely low chance of survival.

The Leeds trial - expected to start in early 2018 - will focus on smokers and ex-smokers aged 55 to 80 years.

Yorkshire Cancer Research says it could lead to 289 cancers being diagnosed. Some 80 per cent of patients diagnosed through screening are expected to survive 10 years and the results could be used to plan a national screening programme.

Dr Matthew Callister, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Checking people at high risk of lung cancer with regular scans detects early, curable cancer and reduces deaths by one fifth.

“Lung cancer screening is not currently available in the UK, and it is not clear exactly which people would most benefit.”

The charity’s interim chief executive Kathryn Scott said they were “incredibly grateful” to supporters. She added: “Lung cancer is without a doubt the biggest health problem facing our region and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure more people are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.”