Blackburn with Darwen residents who had a CT scan in 2022 are being invited back for a routine follow-up scan to check the ongoing health of their lungs.

Two years ago, thousands of current or former smokers aged between 55 and 74 in the borough were invited for a targeted lung health check by the NHS to help spot the early signs of lung cancer and other issues.

The follow-up scan may identify any issues that might have developed since their first check two years ago.

The first phase of the potentially life-saving health check comprised a 10-minute consultation with a trained healthcare professional followed by a low-dose CT scan for anyone identified as being at risk of lung cancer.

Dr John Howells, clinical director for lung health checks for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “The targeted lung health checks have been hugely successful in detecting conditions that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, in their earliest stages.

“These two-year checks will offer peace of mind for anyone who was identified as being at risk of cancer in their first scans a couple of years ago, so I really urge anyone who is invited back for a scan to attend their appointment.”

More than 24,500 people in Lancashire and South Cumbria have already had their initial targeted lung health checks.

The non-invasive CT scans that are offered to people at risk of lung cancer take less than 30 minutes, are painless and are carried out fully clothed.

In Blackburn the mobile lung checks are being carried out at a mobile scanner at Ewood Park stadium.

While most people who take part receive a clean bill of health, a small minority require further treatment.

Lung cancer rarely presents any symptoms in its early stages, making it much more difficult to detect and treat effectively, with this programme designed to check those most at risk earlier.

The targeted lung health check programme is currently available in 43 areas of the UK and estimates that it will diagnose around 9,000 early-stage cancers, offering the opportunity for earlier interventions, including curative surgery, which will save lives.

Stop smoking advice will also be offered to support current smokers.