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Bill’s lung health check story

Bill attended a lung health check in Nottingham. At the time, he had a cough but, in his own words, would never have bothered his doctor with it. Over four years on, he remains lung cancer-free and is encouraging everyone who is invited to make an appointment.

“The health check came about through a phone call from a nurse from my local doctor’s practice. She explained I was being invited to a lung health check because of my age and the fact I used to smoke. I didn’t have any reservations about going. As a former smoker, I realised was important to make sure my lungs were working ok. So, I thought I’d go and get it checked. It wasn’t going to cost me anything.

The nurse explained to me that if they did find any abnormalities, I’d be sent for a scan, which I was. I was expecting to go to the hospital for the scan but I actually had it in a mobile unit in the car park of my GP surgery. It took about 10 – 15 minutes from start to finish.

A few days later, I found out I had lung cancer. However, I was told it was localised to the lung; it had not spread. It was small and could be treated and cured. So in one minute, I felt like I was getting a death sentence. The next minute, I was getting a reprieve!

Because they had caught it so early, I had options when it came to treatment – surgery, chemo or radiotherapy. I thought if it’s cancer, I just want rid of it so chose to have surgery.

You’re operated on and the next day, couple of days later, you can go home. You’re fixed. You’re mended. You feel great! You really feel elated. I’m glad I did that. The doctors said it’s probably given me 10 more years of my life; my wife’s never forgiven him for that!

But in all seriousness, I have and it’s all because of that health check. If you get the chance to go for a lung health check, I would say 100% go. It doesn’t cost you anything and it takes 10 minutes. There’s nothing to be frightened of. It doesn’t hurt. There’s nothing invasive about it. If you’re fine ok, it will show up as fine if your lungs are healthy. If they’re not as healthy as they should be, they’ll send you for for a scan.

If I hadn’t had gone for that scan, I could have been dead in a year’s time. I had a cough at the time which looking back now was probably a symptom, but I would never have bothered the doctor with it, which is quite a scary thought so please, if you’re invited, make sure you go.”