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Test detects lung cancer earlier

Scientists are testing a new way of detecting lung cancer early in people at greatest risk of the disease.

The trial aims to see if screening long-term smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) will lead to more cases of lung cancer being caught early.

COPD is a degenerative lung condition that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and increases the chance of developing lung cancer.

Lung cancer is very often diagnosed at a late stage, making it difficult to treat, but if it can be diagnosed earlier, treatment is more effective and survival more likely.

More than 100 people each day are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK, but the disease has one of the worst survival rates of any cancer, with only 7% of patients still alive five years after diagnosis.

But if some types of lung cancer are detected at an early, operable stage then a five-year survival rate of up to 80% can be achieved.

Professor Stephen Spiro, who is leading the research funded by Cancer Research UK, said: "Many of the tests used to screen for lung cancer have not been able to pick up very early signs of the disease so we're using two new tests which we think could be better at picking up lung cancer earlier."

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Cancer Research UK