Test / Diagnostic Procedure: Lung Cancer Screening

Detecting lung cancer early can save lives.

To book offline, call our Lung Health centre directly on: 020 3653 2006

Enquiries: bookings.lunghealth@onewelbeck.com

What is lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer screening is an evidence based programme designed to help detect lung cancer at an early stage. Detecting lung cancer at an early stage, when it still isn’t causing any symptoms, can mean that it can be treated radically - which means aiming to cure it/ remove it completely. Lung Cancer only starts to cause symptoms very late in its development and often this can mean that it is too late to cure, by the time it is diagnosed. Lung cancer screening allows those people at risk of developing lung cancer to be regularly checked (screened) for early signs of the disease, so that it can be treated early.

Lung cancer screening aims to diagnose lung cancer early and helps to save lives.

Screening programs are designed to test people for early stages of disease and before any symptoms arise. For any screening to be useful the tests/protocols need to be reliable in detecting the disease, and most importantly the screening must do more good than harm to the patient.

In the UK, lung cancer screening is a 'targeted' programme. This means that only certain people should undertake screening based on clinical necessity.

The lung cancer screening programme at OneWelbeck involves a triage to ensure that you are an appropriate candidate for screening. This is very important as we do not want to expose patients to a CT scan unless we are certain it is indicated/needed and can evidence this need.

Who should get lung cancer screening?

As lung cancer screening is a 'targeted' screening programme, you will be asked a series of questions by our clinical team to ascertain whether you are appropriate to undertake the screening.

If you do not meet the criteria for inclusion but are still concerned or worried about lung cancer risk, then you may wish to have a Lung Health Check.

A Lung Health Check consists of:

  • A consultation with one of our specialist clinicians to discuss your concerns. 
  • A spirometry test - designed to test how well you can breath in and out. You will be asked to blow into a small device as hard and powerfully as you can.

This test is priced at £415.

What does a typical appointment involve?

If a lung cancer screening is appropriate to undertake, your screening process will involve two sessions with our specialist teams.

The first appointment will see you complete some spirometry testing and a CT scan of your chest.

  • Spirometry is a short test designed to test how well you can breath in and out. You will be asked to blow into a small device as hard and powerfully as you can.
  • CT or Computed tomography is a procedure that uses a computerised, narrow beam of X-rays that are aimed at the body of a patient in a rotating circle. The procedure is generally quite quick but can range in length depending on the type of scan being performed. The rotating X-rays produce cross-sectional image slices (processed by the computer of the scanner), which provide a greater detail than traditional X-ray.

During your second session you will speak with one of our specialist respiratory physicians. They will go through the results of the spirometry and CT scan. They will answer any question or queries you have with regards lung cancer risk and relevant risk factor analysis.

What are the benefits of lung cancer screening?

Screening for lung cancer can and does save lives. The early detection of lung cancer is important in initiating early treatment which is shown to improve outcomes of treatment.

Survival from treated stage 1 lung cancer, such as we often diagnose during screening, can be up to 98% at 5 years. However, when lung cancer is diagnosed in stage 4, many treatment options may no longer be appropriate and survival may be significantly less than one year for most patients.

What happens if cancer is found?

In the event that there are abnormalities detected during your screening you will be informed by the specialist consultant during your follow up appointment. The consultant will talk you through the next steps. Our respiratory consultants are expert in the diagnosis and management of lung cancer and can help to guide you through this difficult period. They will help to ensure that you are referred on to the correct teams so that the diagnostic process can be started as quickly as possible. The next steps typically include further investigations, which may include further scans over time and sometimes biopsy of the lesion.  For onward treatment you can be referred back to your general practitioner to access NHS treatment our consultants will help you to make sure that the correct referrals are made, or you can arrange to see our team privately to continue care.

Occasionally other things can be picked up on our screening scans. In this case we will also make sure that you are aware of their significance and that you have all the information that you need to make an informed choice about you care and what next steps are needed. Examples of these “incidental findings” can include problems with the blood vessels in the heart or other lung diseases.

Sometimes we find small lesions on the lungs called lung nodules – these are very common and in a small number of patients these can represent early or pre lung cancers. Our team of respiratory specialists are experts in the management of these lung nodules and will explain to you their significance and help you to get the ongoing care and monitoring that you need to ensure that they are kept an eye  - this is known as lung nodule surveillance.

How to book a lung cancer screening appointment

To book an appointment for lung cancer screening you can click the Enquire Now button and complete our enquiry form. A member of our team will then contact you to take you through the process of booking the elements of the screening.

Lung Cancer Screening Specialists