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How to Save a Life

Will it save lives?                                                               Terry McLoughlin knows the
                                                                                  importance of catching lung cancer
Prior to the launch of the scheme, a pilot was run at                             early. In 2012, the father of six and
Bilborough Medical Centre during January and February                             grandfather of 13 took part in the
2016. It targeted a high risk group – people between the                          UK Lung Cancer Screening Trial
ages of 60 and 75 with a history of smoking in the last 5                         (UKLS) in Liverpool. Unlike many lung
years.The results^ were as follows:                                               cancer patients, five years on, he’s still
                                                                                  here to tell his story:
35%	 of invited patients attended a lung
                health check appointment.

60% of patients attending the lung health                                         “I was meant to be having my hips done but the doctor
                check appointment were eligible for a                             wouldn’t go through with the operation because I had a very
                CT scan.                                                          high white cell count. It meant I had an infection somewhere
                                                                                  so I was sent for a variety of tests including an x-ray. Problem
88% of patients eligible for a CT scan                                            was, they couldn’t find anything.
                accepted and attended the scan.
   3 lung nodules were found.                                                     “Strangely, a day or so after having these tests, a letter came
None of the nodules found were cancerous but this                                 through the post inviting me to attend a ‘Healthy Lung Clinic’.
can change.As a result, these three patients will now be                          I thought it was a good way to get an MOT, it was free, not
kept under observation.                                                           to mention it might help identify why my white cell count
                                                                                  was high. So I went along without hesitation.After an initial
                                                                                  check-up, I went on to have a CT scan.

                                                                                  “I got the results on 29th November – it’s amazing how
                                                                                  certain dates just stick in your head. I remember seeing a
                                                                                  3mm dot on my right lung. I had lung cancer. I was shocked.
                                                                                  I didn’t even feel ill, certainly not ill enough to have lung

                                                                                  “ It’s so hard to believe. I had no
                                                                                          symptoms, I didn’t feel ill but
                                                                                     ”if I hadn’t got onto that trial,
                                                                                                           I’d be dead now.

           Patients identified as high risk will receive a free CT scan           Terry was booked in to have surgery in January 2013, a
                                                                                  couple of months before his 70th birthday. During the
This means if lung cancer does                                                    operation, he had a third of his right lung removed. His
develop, there is an increased                                                    thoracic surgeon was Mr. Julius Asante-Siaw, whom Terry
chance that it will be caught early.                                              fondly refers to as ‘Sante Claus’. He knew that they had to
Individuals with very early stage                                                 act as quickly as possible:

lung cancer have up to a 73%                                                      “Mr Asante-Siaw told me if we hadn’t found this, I wouldn’t
                                                                                  have been here in 18 months,” Terry recalls.
chance of surviving five years or
more.                                                                             The emotions of the memory are clearly visible. He pauses
                                                                                  for a moment and shares a knowing glance at Ann, his wife of
^For the Bilborough pilot an operational decision was made to scan people in the  42 years, before continuing:“It’s so hard to believe. I had no
top 10% lung cancer risk threshold.                                               symptoms, I didn’t feel ill but if I hadn’t got onto that trial,
                                                                                  I’d be dead now.”

6 Inspire 2017
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