To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of a national lung cancer screening programme.
The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) last reviewed the evidence to screen for lung cancer in 2006 and recommended that population screening should not be introduced. This was due to a lack of evidence to support the use of the screen tests within a population screening programme and that the benefit to screen had not been demonstrated. The UK NSC will review the evidence again after the results of the NELSON randomised lung cancer screening trial are published.
The UK NSC recognises that lung cancer is common and unless found at an early stage the outcome is very poor. The Committee is currently working with the National Institute of Health Research to assess the effectiveness and cost of screening heavy smokers for lung cancer.