We listened to and shared the videos of people affected by lung cancer, like Gerard in our featured video, who joined us in calling for change
Targeted lung cancer screening can help save lives. It aims to find lung cancer early in people at higher risk of the disease so that treatment is more likely to be successful. Cancer Research UK supported the National Screening Committee’s recommendation to each of the UK’s nations to introduce targeted lung screening. So, we’re pleased that England announced and started to implement the rollout of a targeted lung cancer screening programme which will build on the targeted lung health-check programme.
Now we’re calling for targeted lung screening to be introduced across the UK, as a full commitment to introduce targeted lung cancer screening doesn’t exist in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For Lung Cancer Awareness month this November, we launched our #MakeLungScreeningHappen campaign. Throughout the month, with help from our supporters, we helped raise awareness of the need for targeted lung cancer screening. With targeted lung cancer screening, we can reduce the 6,900 lung cancer deaths each year in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales (based on data for 2018, 2019 and 2021).
In Wales, alongside other charities we set up a petition calling for a commitment from Welsh Government to provide a targeted lung cancer screening programme. We also held a successful drop-in event for MSs in the Senedd around the campaign, and the impact of lung cancer was featured in BBC Wales Today.
Over in Scotland, our campaigners wrote to their MSPs to support a motion submitted by MSP Sandesh Gullhani to raise the need for a national targeted lung screening programme. The motion now has cross party support with 34 MSPs signing up so far. We also hosted the Scottish Cancer Conference in Glasgow, where our #MakeLungScreeningHappen campaign was raised.
And while there is no current Assembly in Northern Ireland, we focused on raising awareness, with campaigners in Northern Ireland writing to their MLAs to support the #MakeLungScreeningHappen campaign. The campaign was featured across press outlets including BBC N. Ireland online, Downtown Radio, the Belfast Telegraph and Belfast Live.
And some progress is being made. Last week, the Welsh Government agreed to scoping targeted lung cancer screening for Wales. And in Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health & Social Care, Michael Matheson MSP and Minister for Public Health & Women’s Health, Jenni Minto MSP, have confirmed their support for screening, but we’re awaiting an official ministerial commitment. These are positive steps, but we’re still campaigning for a full commitment and its rollout.
Over 1000 people have taken so action far – thank you. You can still join the campaign by signing the petition to the Welsh Government to make this a reality. We’ll keep pushing to #MakeLungScreeningHappen in all nations in 2024.