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Lung Health Check

Lung Health Check Scoping Review Project, Wales

In Wales, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women, but is the leading cause of cancer death, accounting for more deaths than breast and colorectal cancer combined.

Evidence from randomised controlled trials shows that targeted screening of high-risk individuals can improve outcomes.

The National Lung Screening Trial and NELSON are two large randomised controlled trials demonstrating a 20% or greater relative reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose CT screening in high-risk individuals. 

Lung cancer screening is the first topic planned for review by the reformed National Screening Committee (NSC); a cost-effectiveness analysis has been commissioned to inform their review, which is due to be completed in Summer 2021.

In February 2019, the Cancer Implementation Group approved funding to conduct a 12 month scoping review exploring the potential for lung health checks in Wales.

In September 2019, the Wales Cancer Network appointed a Clinical Lead (Dr Sinan Eccles, Consultant Respiratory Physician), Project Manager (Claire Wright) and Senior Project Support Officer (Roya Yadollahi) to lead the scoping review, with the aim of producing a report by Summer 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the production of the scoping report was slowed but, despite this, the report was finalised in the Autumn 2020. 

The report makes recommendations for the next steps for Wales.  These include:

  • Planning a small-scale implementation pilot in Wales
  • Ongoing learning from lung health check projects elsewhere in the UK, together with assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lung health check activity, and on lung cancer services in Wales
  • Monitoring the progress of the NSC review with a view to implementation of a national lung health check programme if a positive recommendation is made
  • Undertaking a project to assess, validate and improve smoking status data held at a number of GP practices, to inform the optimal strategy to identify people eligible for lung cancer screening.

Download the full scoping report.

The report and its recommendations were presented to the Cancer Implementation Group (CIG) in November 2020, which granted approval for the project team to develop a programme approach for a lung health check pilot in Wales. This approach will be presented to the CIG in the Spring 2021.

If you would like any further information about the project, please contact the team: 
PHW.LungHealthCheck@wales.nhs.uk