NHS has issued an urgent warning to anyone who has ever smoked a cigarette

The NHS has issued a warning to anyone who has ever smoked cigarettes, urging people to go and get a ‘lung MOT’ to detect early signs of cancer.

The move comes after 600 people were diagnosed with lung cancer earlier through a new NHS mobile trucks initiative, which invitates those at risk to have a check-up at venues near their homes.

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People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.

The NHS mobile trucks scheme is part of the biggest programme to improve early lung cancer diagnosis in health service history.

Hundreds of people have been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier through the NHS mobile trucks initiative. Photo: Getty Images

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS cancer director, said: “These lung checks can save lives – by going out into communities we find more people who may not have otherwise realised they have lung cancer – with hundreds already diagnosed and hundreds of thousands due to be invited.

“The trucks are conveniently located to make them easy to access and it is vital that as soon as you are invited, you take up the offer and come forward for these potentially life-saving checks.”

How to get an NHS mobile truck ‘lung MOT’

The mobile trucks are scanning those most at risk from lung cancer, including current and ex-smokers, inviting them for an MOT of their lungs and an on the spot chest scan for those at highest risk.

One of the mobile NHS trucks giving lung MOTs. Image: PA Media

So far, the 23 existing truck sites have issued up to 25,000 invitations every month.

A further 20 NHS lung truck sites are due to go live shortly with the capacity to invite 750,000 more people at increased risk for a check, in efforts to catch thousands more cancers at an earlier stage.

Professor Peter Johnson, NHS clinical director for cancer said: “Lung cancer can often be hard to detect at an early stage and so these checks, close to people’s homes, show how the NHS is taking action to find more people with cancer.

“Current and ex-smokers aged between 55 and 74 are invited to speak to a healthcare professional and, if they have a higher chance of developing lung cancer, are offered a scan of their lungs.”

For those invited, the NHS lung trucks are conveniently located at “community sites including supermarket car parks, sports and shopping centres”.

Around 1.5 million people will be invited by 2024-2025, though this shouldn’t stop people from going to the doctor if they have concerns.

‘Now completely cancer free’

Christine and Danny, a couple who both went through the check and stopped smoking after Danny was diagnosed with lung cancer, said: “We received an invitation letter and are so thankful that we made the decision to go ahead with the lung health check. Unfortunately, the CT scan picked something up on Danny’s lung and within days we were at Castle Hill Hospital receiving a lung cancer diagnosis.

“He had no symptoms other than a cough, which we naturally put down to smoking, and we were shocked to find out the growth was really large. We were so lucky, the lung health check caught it just in time and the amazing cancer team at Castle Hill Hospital were able to operate and remove the cancer without need for chemo or radiotherapy.

“Danny is now completely cancer free, but if it wasn’t for the lung health check, he simply wouldn’t be here today. We are so grateful to the amazing team who saved my husband’s life and would urge anyone who is invited to take up the offer”.

How do I get a lung check up in Liverpool

For the Liverpool area, to book an appointment for a FREE lung health check at a suitable time for you, please call 0151 254 3032.

Run by specially trained nurses, they are an easy way to find out how well your lungs are working.

If needed, you’ll get care and treatment to help breathe new life into your lungs.

The checks are for people aged 58 to 75 who have ever smoked, or who are in this age range and have a condition called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

You are invited to a lung health check whether you feel fine or not.