The Doncaster Lung Health Check Programme is well underway and having launched in March this year, over 1,100 people have taken part in a lung health check.
Starting in the South of Doncaster, patients have been invited to take part in a check which initially takes place over the phone with a specially trained nurse.
The check is available for people aged 55-74 who smoke or used to smoke and are registered with a Doncaster GP surgery. Invitation letters are sent through the post and an information leaflet provides an overview of the programme and explains why it is important to take the opportunity of a check if you are offered one.
A lung health check is free and can give you reassurance that your lungs are healthy and if you do have a problems this can be identified early. If lung conditions, or other problems with your heart or lungs are found, treatment is usually simpler and more successful.
So far, over 557 people have gone on to have a low dose CT scan following a lung health check with 14 lives already potentially saved by early-stage cancers being detected and treatment underway which is fantastic.
If you receive an invitation letter, it is your decision whether you attend or not, however as a local GP I am aware that Doncaster has more than its fair share of people who live with lung problems and would encourage everyone to take up the offer. Early detection of lung conditions, including cancer, allows more and often better treatment for people improving your quality and length of life.
Your lungs work incredibly hard every single day and there are many things you can do to improve your lung health such as:
- Stopping smoking, and avoid second hand smoke or environmental irritants.
- Stay well hydrated – fluids help keep mucosal linings in the lungs thin and makes them function better.
- Get vaccinations like the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine. This can help prevent lung infections and promote lung health.
- Exercise more frequently to help your lungs function properly.
If you would like to find out more information about the Lung Health Checks, Healthwatch Doncaster recently ran a dedicated Daily Dose week on the programme where they spoke with clinicians who are part of the service. You can watch the video interviews on their Facebook page.