Health officials in the UK are recommending that citizens over the age of 55 who have smoked a cigarette, even once, should be screened for lung cancer.
The UK National Screening Committee made this recommendation to help fight the disease which has become the biggest cause of cancer deaths in the country. The committee’s age recommendation is that anyone aged 55 to 74 who has smoked at some point in their life should be screened, according to The Telegraph.
Lung cancer can be deadly because patients are often diagnosed when the disease is most severe due to lack of regular medical checkups. Every year, approximately 35,000 people in the UK die of lung cancer.
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The UK Cancer Research organization backed the recommendation, adding that it should be implemented “as quickly as possible”.
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“We welcome this recommendation and urge the UK’s four nation governments to implement a targeted lung cancer screening program as quickly as possible,” Dr Ian Walker said in a statement to The Telegraph.
Walked added: “Lung cancer causes more deaths in the UK than any other cancer, and screening could save lives by diagnosing people at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful.”
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