NHS England to save lives by catching cancers early

NHS England is to announce a scheme that catches lung cancer early by scanning patients, along with new details of a more sensitive bowel cancer test that could save thousands of lives.

Speaking at the Economist War on Cancer event, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is expected to highlight the success of the Manchester scanner scheme, where mobile scanners are detecting four out of five cases of lung cancer in the early stages when it is easier to treat. The mobile scanning trucks have picked up one cancer for every 33 patients scanned over the course of the year.

NHS England is now funding scanners in other areas as part of a national programme to diagnose cancer early, improve the care for those living with cancer and ensure each cancer patient gets the right care for them.

Plans for ‘FIT’, a more sensitive bowel cancer test that could see as many as 1,500 more cancer caught earlier every year, will be confirmed.

NHS England is committing to expanded cancer screening screening to more than four million people in 2018.

Speaking at the event, Simon Stevens will say: “NHS cancer care is the best it’s ever been, with cancer survival increasing every year. Over the next 18 months the NHS will be rolling out new mobile and home screening kits to detect cancers earlier, when they can be treated best.”