Today marks the beginning of a new phase to recruit 10,000 people to take part in a large early lung cancer detection study.
Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer. In Scotland, 5000 people die from lung cancer every year – more than any other cancer.
This is because most cases are picked up late when the chance of cure is low. This is often because there are few symptoms until the cancer has been growing for a long time.
Equally, there are currently no blood tests available on the NHS to try and find lung cancers early before people become unwell. The researchers’ innovative approach would change this.
When people get cancer, their bodies fight it by making chemicals against the cancer. These chemicals can be measured in blood even when the cancer is very, very small. This means that if the researchers can measure these chemicals in the blood, they can find out if someone has lung cancer before they start to feel unwell and can also start treating the cancer sooner. The test is only looking for lung cancer, so will not pick up other types of cancer or other diseases.
The new blood test is called EarlyCDT-Lung. It might be able to pick up very small lung cancers before they cause health problems. The researchers want to find out if earlier detection may help save lives in the long term by following everyone who takes part for up to 10 years.
They also want to know what people think about the test so that a decision can be made about whether to offer it as a nationwide lung cancer screening test.
Professor Frances Mair, Professor of Primary Care Research and Head of General Practice and Primary Care, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow said:
“Lung cancer is a silent killer with devastating effects on families. If you are a smoker or ex-smoker aged 50-75 in Greater Glasgow and Clyde or Tayside areas please say “YES” when you receive an invite to this lung cancer screening trial or directly contact the Glasgow team: 0141 232 9525 or Tayside team: 01382 383060 to ask to take part. Please share this information with friends or family and help us find out more about how to detect cancer early.”
Lung cancer can happen to anyone, including the young and old and people who do not smoke, but the risk is higher in those over 50 and those who have smoked and so the researchers are seeking to speak to those who are aged 50-75 and are a smoker or ex-smoker.
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