Your lungs work hard for you throughout your life. As you get older, it’s worth getting them checked out.
Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire (SWAG) Cancer Alliance's Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is a new pilot scheme giving people a chance to check their lung health. SWAG will test how well your lungs are functioning and offer advice and support around keeping your lungs healthy.
Most of the time, no problems will be found, and SWAG will be able to reassure you that your lungs are working well. In the unlikely case that a problem is picked up with a person’s lungs or breathing, finding it early could make treatment easier and more successful.
One of the things being looked for is lung cancer. Many people with lung cancer are not aware they have it, as there are often no signs or symptoms at an early stage. Because of this, most lung cancers are diagnosed at a later stage than other cancers, when they are large or have spread to other areas of the body. This makes treatment harder. If lung cancer is diagnosed when it is small, it is more likely to be treatable. That’s where the targeted lung health check comes in.
The lung health checks are being offered to people between the ages of 55 and 74 who are current or former smokers. Eligible individuals will be sent a letter inviting them to a telephone lung health check. This may lead to a face-to-face appointment and low-dose CT scan for some individuals.
The lung health checks are being offered in specific areas across Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon, and Gloucestershire.
Who is eligible for the check?
You must be:
- Aged 55 and under 75
- A smoker or have ever smoked (more than 100 cigarettes)
- Registered with one of the GP practices listed below
- Armada Practice
- Bedminster Family Practice
- Crest Family Practice
- Grange Road Surgery
- Hartwood Healthcare
- Hillview Family Practice
- Lennard Surgery
- Merrywood Practice
- Pioneer Medical Group
- Shirehampton Group Practice
- Southmead and Henbury Family Practice
- Broadmead Medical Centre
- Charlotte Keel Medical Practice
- East Trees Health Centre
- Lawrence Hill Health Centre
- Montpelier Health Centre
- The Homeless Health Service
- Wellspring Surgery
SWAG are hoping to be able to offer lung health checks to everyone who meets these criteria across Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire in the next few years, so if you are not invited initially, hopefully you will be soon. If you are not invited, there are several things you can do to look after your lung health in the meantime.
If you notice any of the following and have tested negative for COVID-19, please contact your GP as soon as possible.
- Unexplained persistent cough
- Unexplained persistent breathlessness
- Fatigue lasting four or more weeks
- Persistent or recurrent chest infection
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appetite loss