About the programme
In January 2022, an early detection programme for lung cancer was added to the existing screening programmes (breast, colorectal and cervical cancer).
Lung cancer is an insidious disease: it can go for a long time without any symptoms, and patients often come to the doctor at a stage when the tumour cannot be treated effectively. The solution to improve the situation is early detection of the tumour. This is also the aim of the Early Detection Programme for Lung Cancer: we want to actively seek out patients at risk who will undergo a preventive low-dose CT (computed tomography) scan. The examination is not demanding and can detect a tumour in just a few minutes.
If you would like to take part in the programme, please speak to your GP. He or she will explain the necessary steps and refer you to an outpatient lung specialist.
For whom is the programme intended?
curent or ex-smoker
You have smoked 20 and more pack-years*.
*How are the pack-years counted? One pack-year means that a person smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for one year (or 2 packs for half a year, or half a pack for 2 years, etc.). So to participate in this program, 1 pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years.
If you would like to join the programme, please speak to your GP. He or she will explain the details of the examination to you. This is followed by an examination by a pulmonary specialist. He or she will ask you questions, take a medical history and carry out a standard lung examination. If you smoke, he or she will offer help to stop smoking.
The lung doctor will give you the contact details of the nearest accredited radiology department. They will do a low dose CT scan, called LDCT (low dose computed tomography), which uses low doses of radiation so you have nothing to worry about. The radiology centres involved have undergone compulsory accreditation and the examination will be carried out by specialists in the field. The radiologist will evaluate and describe the result and pass it on to your outpatient lung doctor or GP.
In case there is a result:
- Negative: they will discuss the result with you and schedule the next CT scan on the recommended screening schedule, i.e., in 1 or 2 years.
- Indeterminate: they will most likely recommend a repeat LDCT, i.e. a scan usually between 6-8 weeks and 1 year.
- Positive: they will arrange further investigations and arrange a consultation at a cancer centre or pneumo-oncology centre.
- Other finding (other lung disease): they will arrange further investigations and take you into their care.