In an effort to curb lung cancer mortality in the U.K., a National Health Service (NHS) pilot program will employ mobile CT scanning units in grocery store parking lots. The program will target more than 7,000 current and former smokers, aged 60 to 75, to detect tumors.
The program is expected to cost the NHS £1 million ($1.3 million), according to reporting from the Evening Standard.
While lung screening was once rejected as there was anxiety over false positives, U.K. physicians believe present screening is more accurate and can catch cancer in earlier stages.
“What we are looking for is a complete change in the landscape, something called a stage shift,” Anand Devaraj, MD, a thoracic radiologist at the London's Royal Brompton Hospital told the Evening Standard. “At the moment, large numbers of patients only present at stages three and four of the disease because the earlier stages can be asymptomatic. We are trying to increase the number that present at stages one and two, and screening can help achieve that.”
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