In England, lung cancer is the third most common behind breast and prostate cancer. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, lung cancer kills more people than any other.

Lung cancer incidence is directly related to smoking and therefore tobacco use is the most important preventable cause of lung cancer in the UK. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, it is estimated that tobacco addiction caused over 2,300 cancers in 2010. Smoking rates are above the national average (15.5%) at 18.6%, meaning there are around 351,000 smokers in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance area. Smoking rates are above the national average in all local places in Yorkshire except Harrogate.
There is now robust evidence that earlier diagnosis can be effectively encouraged through a combination of offering lung health checks to high risk areas, public awareness, clinician education and better access to diagnostic testing. The health and care system through the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is taking a systematic approach to diagnosing lung cancers at an earlier stage, thereby making more cancers curable.

  • National Cancer Transformation Funding is being used to establish a Tackling Lung Cancer pilot programme in Bradford and Wakefield. Both localities have a combination of poor clinical outcomes and high smoking prevalence. The four-pronged programme will be an integral part of the overall Early Diagnosis programme in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Click here to learn more about the pilot programme, which includes targeted invitations to lung health checks for those most at risk and the use of community-based low dose CT scanning, where indicated. There is an added benefit of detecting significant other non-cancer diagnoses, with more lung cancers diagnosed overall and at an earlier stage offering surgical treatment.

"If I hadn't gone for that scan, I could be dead in a year's time," says lung patient Bill.

Watch his story below (featured on the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation website) about his experience of a lung health check.

  • Our Cancer Alliance is firmly behind the NHS Smokefree Pledge, as part of its Tobacco Control work programme. Click here to find out more. Pictured right are Scott Crosby of Public Health England and Alliance Clinical Lead, Professor Sean Duffy, at the signing of the pledge.
  • Click here to read more about the 2019 Public Health England Health Harms campaign - see image and film below. Making smokers aware of the immediate, personal and irrefutable harm to health caused by every single cigarette smoked and options available to help them quit - including the use of e cigarettes and other quit aids.

Click here to access the Smokefree home page with information about support to quit, including information about local specialist stop smoking services, and the free online Personal Quit Plan, which helps people find the right support for their quitting journey, taking into account how much they smoke and any support used previously.

  • The role of GPs is crucial in early diagnosis of lung cancer - identifying smokers and others at risk, recognising symptoms and signposting to specialist advice and other support services.

A new online cancer education website, already being used across the UK, is one of a range of resources available to primary care staff and is now available for free to professionals across the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance.

GatewayC is an interactive online portal with a range of courses supporting work around early diagnosis and living with and beyond cancer, and key areas including lung and colorectal cancers. The learning is designed to support primary care staff in the early detection of cancer, support the achievement of the 28 and 62 day national cancer standards, and improve the patient experience of the referral process.

Click here to find out more.