Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) are being offered to support with the early detection and treatment of lung cancer. 

They can also help with identifying and treating other lung conditions. 

Over the coming months, GPs will be writing to individuals aged between 55 to 74 to invite them to take part in the screening. The screening takes place in two parts: 

  • Firstly a phone conversation with a healthcare professional which will focus on breathing, overall lung health, lifestyle, and family history.
  • If necessary, the next step will be referral for a low dose, painless CT scan at a mobile scanner, parked in a convenient place.

Targeted Lung Health Checks help to spot any signs of lung cancer at the earlier stages, when treatment can be much simpler and effective. To date, 80% of lung cancers found by the TLHC programme have been at stage 1 or stage 2, compared to 30% without this kind of intervention.

For a lot of people, no serious problems are found. 

Please keep an eye out for your invitation. This will probably arrive as a letter in the post and it will include information about who you can contact with further questions.

There are often no signs or symptoms of lung cancer at an early stage. As a result, 7 out of 10 cancer patients are diagnosed too late to be treated effectively.

Target lung health checks can help diagnose lung cancer early, at a stage where treatment can be simpler and more successful.

Data from the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme so far shows that with these potentially life-saving checks, lung cancer early diagnosis rates can be as high as 80% - compared to less than 30% without this type of intervention – enabling doctors to treat the disease sooner, when curative treatment is more possible, saving more lives.

A Targeted Lung Health Check is a two-stage process to help assess the health of the participants lungs.

  1. It begins with a telephone call or meeting where a specialist nurse will ask a series of questions to evaluate the participants chances of developing lung cancer
  2. If they are identified as someone who is at an increased risk of developing lung cancer participants will be invited for a quick scan which will provide a detailed image of their lungs

Following the screening, GPs will be sent the information so that any next steps in terms of diagnosis and treatment can take place. 

Patients aged 55 to 74 who have ever smoked will be invited to a Lung Health Check, providing their smoking status is correctly recorded in their GP record.

Participants will be invited to an initial assessment which usually takes place over the phone.

Patients will be contacted at the time of their appointment by a specialist health professional. The health professional will ask the patient a series of questions about their smoking history, lifestyle and current health and wellbeing.

The health professional will complete two risk assessments based on the answers given by the patient. If the patient meets a certain risk threshold on either of the risk assessments, they will be offered a low dose CT scan.

The risks and benefits of the CT scan will be explained to the patient by the health professional.