Free NHS lung test sees 128 people diagnosed with cancer in South Cumbria and Lancashire
More than 100 smokers were diagnosed with lung cancer following a free health check aimed at finding the disease early.
The programme launched by NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria is aimed at giving current or former smokers who are aged between 55 and 74 an "MOT" for their lungs.
More than 48,000 people attended the lung health check during the programme's first phase, with 128 people diagnosed with cancer as a result.
More than two thirds of those cancers were found at stage one or two, when treatment is more effective.
Dr Neil Smith, GP clinical lead for cancer in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) are designed to help the NHS spot lung cancer and other issues early when the options for treatment are greater."
The checks take place in two stages - a 15-minute telephone consultation with a nurse followed by a low-dose CT scan for those identified as being at risk of lung cancer.
Dr Smith said: “I would urge anyone who receives an invitation to say yes. Early diagnosis saves lives and lung health checks are making a difference.
“A huge 69% of the lung cancers found by the Targeted Lung Health Check were diagnosed early when our options for treatment are greater and the patient has a much better chance of survival.
"The national TLHC programme has diagnosed over 1,200 lung cancers with Lancashire and South Cumbria contributing approximately 10 per cent to those results. The TLHCs have been a remarkable success in our region, and the vast majority of people who agree to take part leave with a clean bill of health and valuable peace of mind.
"But for those who do require further treatment, we have a better chance if we find it early, often when there are no symptoms.”
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