The NHS is urging people to take up invitations for lung cancer check-ups, after hundreds were diagnosed with the disease in mobile trucks. 

As reported by The Independent, 600 people were diagnosed in the NHS travelling trucks.

These trucks visit convenient community sites across the UK, like supermarkets and sports centres, aiming to make it easier for people to access check-ups.

It comes as new figures show only a third (35%) of patients go to their lung health check when invited by the NHS.

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS cancer director, said: “These lung checks can save lives – by going out into communities we find more people who may not have otherwise realised they have lung cancer – with hundreds already diagnosed and hundreds of thousands due to be invited.

Echo: A NHS mobile truck for lung cancer check (NHS England/PA)A NHS mobile truck for lung cancer check (NHS England/PA)

“The trucks are conveniently located to make them easy to access and it is vital that as soon as you are invited, you take up the offer and come forward for these potentially life-saving checks.

“The rollout of our Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is a huge step towards reaching our NHS Long Term Plan ambitions of catching thousands more cancers at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat.”

How do the mobile lung cancer check-ups work?

The NHS said those most at risk of lung cancer, like former or current smokers, are invited for a “Lung MOT” in the mobile trucks. Those who are highest at risk will also be given an on-the-spot chest scan.

These trucks travel to areas of the UK where there are some of the highest rates of death through lung cancer.

The community initiative, which is part of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme, has seen more than three quarters (77%) of cancers caught at either stage one or two, giving patients a much better chance of beating the illness.

At the moment 23 existing truck sites have issued up to 25,000 invitations every month.

A further 20 NHS lung truck sites are due to go live shortly with the capacity to invite 750,000 more people at increased risk for a check, in efforts to catch thousands more cancers at an earlier stage.