adult screening programme

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK and worldwide. Around 48,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer and about 35,000 people die from the disease every year in the UK. Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Other causes include passive smoking and exposure to certain gases and chemicals.

» Read more about lung cancer on NHS UK

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in June 2022.

Screening for this condition is recommended.

Targeted screening for lung cancer is recommended for people aged 55 to 74 identified as being at high risk of lung cancer. Evidence shows that screening with low-dose computed tomography:

  • reduces lung cancer mortality
  • is acceptable to patients and professionals if adequately resourced and quality assured

The UK NSC recommended that the 4 nations move towards implementation of targeted lung cancer screening with integrated smoking cessation service provision. The Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) programme provides a feasible and effective starting point for implementation in England.

The committee recommended that a lung cancer screening task group be set up to help:

  • refine the recommendation
  • address implementation challenges
  • determine the optimum protocols and pathway for screening across the UK

The work of the task group will be informed by further work on the model developed by the Exeter Test Group and Health Economics Group. The interim version of this model, developed as part of the UK NSC consultation, can be downloaded from the ‘Cost-effective model’ link below.

The model was updated in November 2022 and this latest version can be found under ‘Other supporting documents’. A further version of the model will be published on this page following the completion of an external quality assurance exercise, should any opportunities for further development be identified.

Supporting documents from the 2022 review

Evidence review
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

Cost-effective model
A mathematical method to predict the costs and health effects (or health outcomes) of one intervention compared to another, based on the best available evidence.

This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Other supporting documents

Supporting documents from the 2007 review

In 2007, the UK NSC did not recommend screening for this condition.

UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses Lung cancer (2007)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Screening around the UK

The UK NSC recommends screening for this condition, however this may vary slightly depending on where you are in the UK.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2022

Next review estimated to be completed: 2025 to 2026.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Lung cancer

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.