Just two in five lung cancer patients in Mansfield and Ashfield survive more than a year after their diagnosis, figures reveal.
The district has been designated as a priority area with plans for a major screening programme for lung cancer early next year.
People who are most at risk of developing lung disease will be able to get tested at supermarket carparks.
NHS England, the organisation that coordinates NHS services across the country, has awarded more than £5m to fund ‘Targeted Lung Health Checks’ for local people who are most at risk of developing lung diseases including cancer.
People who are aged between 55 and 74 with a history of smoking will be offered a health check at their local GP and a low-dose CT scan at a mobile unit if appropriate.
Dr. Thilan Bartholomeuz Cancer Lead for Mid Nottinghamshire said: said: “Mansfield and Ashfield is recognised as a priority area mainly because of the prevalence of lung cancer due to high smoking activity.
“The aim is to get people to recognise that if it is picked up early it can be a positive outcome. If it is left too late it is often a poor outcome We are trying to be more proactive in funding it.”
In 2016, 40.8 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer in the Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group area lived another year, Office of National Statistics data shows.
That is similar to the 41.6 per cent survival rate across England.
Across the country, the one-year survival rate varies considerably, from just 30.7 per cent in Medway, Kent, to 53.8 per cent in Westminster.
However figures show the rate in Mansfield and Ashfield is a significant improvement compared to 2001, when 27.4 per cent of patients lived beyond one year.
The British Lung Foundation has urged the NHS to roll out a comprehensive screening programme, saying catching lung cancer early is crucial to survival.
Dr Penny Woods, chairwoman of the British Lung Founcdation s Taskforce for Lung Health, said: “Where you live shouldn’t determine your chance of surviving lung cancer.
“It’s encouraging that the NHS is focusing on early diagnosis, and we support the recent announcement to roll out lung cancer scanning at supermarket car parks.”
A CCG spokesman said the scheme in Mansfield was aimed to launch between January – March 2020.
He added: “We estimate there will be 33,000 eligible patients, 12,000 lung health checks and about 13,000 CT scans in total over 4 years.
“To do the first scans we will need a CT scanner parked parked permanently in a public location in Mansfield and Ashfield for a 15 month period, with six nurse permanently doing lung health check appointments for the same period.”
Lung cancer is the UK’s deadliest cancer, with low survival rates compared to other forms of the disease.
In Mansfield and Ashfield, the one-year survival rate for bowel cancer is 80.4 per cent , and 93.5 eper cent for breast cancer.
A new scheme improving early diagnosis of the disease has been launched. GPs in Mansfield and Ashfield can refer patients for Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) tests.
NHS bowel cancer screening is currently only offered to people aged 55 or over, as this is when people are more likely to get bowel cancer. But patients in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire can be tested when they are much younger if their GP finds unexplained bowel symptoms.
FIT is a stool test that detects hidden quantities of blood in poo that could indicate bowel cancer. If blood is found, patients are referred for an urgent bowel investigation to establish a diagnosis. When cancer is found early, treatments are more effective.