Fran’s lung health check story

Fran understands the importance of check ups. She always attends her bowel and breast screenings, so when she was invited for a lung health check, she also took up this opportunity.

Having been a smoker on and off for most of her life, Fran recognised it was a good thing to check everything was ok – even though she felt well at the time.

Fran was diagnosed with stage one lung cancer in May 2022 after attending her local lung health check. Just five weeks after being diagnosed, Fran was in hospital having an operation to remove the cancer and, because it was caught so early, she didn’t need any further treatment such as chemo or radiotherapy.

“My life is very much the same as it was before I was diagnosed,” Fran explains. “I’ve been on holiday. I look after my grandchildren. I’m even thinking of going back to the gym! Who’d have thought I’d be able to do that having had lung cancer and it’s all down to the lung health check.

“As someone who has smoked on and off for most of their life, I thought it was a good thing to go and do, even though at the time I didn’t have any health concerns.

Being a smoker, lung cancer is something that’s in the back of your head because you know the risks. However, what this experience has taught me is that it doesn’t automatically mean bad news.

“It was all very straightforward. I had a call with a nurse first. She asked me a series of questions about my general health. Had I lost any weight? Did I have any breathing problems? I then had the CT scan in a mobile unit in a nearby health centre. It was very quick. I was only there for about 10 minutes and then I had the results very quickly too. The whole thing from the first call, to my surgery was just a matter of months.

“I recovered quickly too and now I just have check ups every few months. Other than that, you wouldn’t ever know I had lung cancer! That’s why I want everyone who is invited to go because it’s helped me and it could help you.

“It’s meant my cancer was caught really early and it’s given me the best chance of a much longer life. It’s not going to cost you anything; it’s there to help you and it’s also there to help the NHS to do the best it can for its patients.”