Lung health checks come to Ashton

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LUNG health checks are now taking place in Ashton as part of a campaign targeting eligible residents who have ever smoked.

The mobile scanning unit has now moved to Asda car park in Ashton as part of the initiative providing quick and easy lung checks.

Past and current smokers aged 55-74-years-old will receive an invitation from their GP in a drive to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and save more lives.

Tameside and Glossop has one of the highest rates for lung cancer in England; the area is one of 23 places across the country to run the Targeted Lung Health Check (TLHC) programme.

GP letters are being sent to households as part of the screening project, jointly organised by Tameside and Glossop CCG and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).

Through the initiative over 58,000 people aged from 55 to 74 in the area will be invited to a lung health check by their GP, and over 65% will be eligible for an appointment based on their smoking history. Over the two years the campaign is running it will identify an estimated 400 cases of lung cancer earlier than otherwise would have been possible.

The lung health check takes place as a 'one-stop shop'. An initial nurse led assessment will explore smoking status, chest symptoms, and risk of lung cancer. Those considered to be at high risk will be offered an immediate ultra-low dose CT scan of the chest.

Checks are taking place over the two-year period and patients are being contacted in groups depending on which GP practice they are registered with. The current set of patients to receive these letters are from Ashton Medical, Gordon Street Medical Practice, Albion Medical Practice, Stamford House Surgery, HT Practice, West End Medical Practice, Donneybrook Medical Centre, Hattersley Medical Centre and Waterloo Medical Centre.

This programme will help improve early diagnosis and survival for people with lung cancer.

Lung cancer can often be diagnosed too late to be cured as there are rarely symptoms at the earlier stages. This programme is designed to check those most at risk of developing lung cancer in order to spot signs earlier, at the stage when it's much more treatable and ultimately saving more lives.

The national TLHC programme estimates it will diagnose around 6,000 cancers earlier than would otherwise have been picked up within the 23 places it is currently established. This offers the opportunity for more and earlier interventions, including curative surgery, which will save people's lives. Stop smoking advice will also be available to support current smokers.

Dr Ashwin Ramachandra, joint chair of Tameside and Glossop CCG, said: "The continued success of the Targeted Lung Health Check programme in Tameside and Glossop is providing significant opportunities to increase the lung cancer survival rate in the area. Through the checks, now based in Ashton, we're also looking out for other serious lung conditions and will contact those most at risk.

"We encourage anyone who receives an invitation letter to contact the bookings team as soon as possible."

The TLHC programme follows the success of the Manchester Lung Health Check programme first launched in March 2019 by Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). 

The team at Wythenshawe Hospital continue to oversee delivery of the TLHC programme in Tameside and Glossop, aiming for the same success within this project.

Professor Richard Booton, Clinical Director of Lung Cancer and Thoracic Surgery at Wythenshawe Hospital said: "We're very pleased to be supporting Tameside and Glossop CCG on this project following the success of our pioneering scheme in Manchester. These targeted lung health checks will save lives, not just by finding cancers earlier, but also in identifying a range of other health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease, that collectively drive health inequality across Greater Manchester."

For more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme please call 0161 529 0900.

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