Date lodged: 15 May 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the effectiveness of a national lung health check scheme to aid early detection of lung cancer.
Answered by: Aileen Campbell 23 May 2018
The Scottish Government works closely with the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC). This independent expert advisory group advises Ministers and the NHS in the four UK countries about all aspects of screening policy using the international research evidence base and establishing pilot programmes where appropriate to collect additional evidence.
The UK NSC and the Scottish Government recognise that lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK and, unless found at an early stage, the outcome is poor. Nevertheless, the UK NSC does not currently recommend a national screening programme for lung cancer because there is not yet enough evidence that this is a good approach to reduce the burden of the disease. In particular there are concerns around significant over-diagnosis leading to potentially invasive investigations in people who are well.
The policy is due to be reviewed again, taking into account the results of the NELSON randomised lung cancer screening trial. If there is any change to the policy this will be carefully considered by the Scottish Government.