Health officials in the United Kingdom are recommending that citizens older than 55 who have smoked a cigarette, even once, should be checked for lung cancer.
The U.K. National Screening Committee made this recommendation to help fight against the disease that has become the most cause of cancer death in the country. The age recommendation from the committee is any individual from 55 to 74 who has smoked at any point in their lives should be assessed, according to The Telegraph.
Lung cancer can become deadly because patients are often diagnosed when the disease is more severe due to not having regular medical check-ups. Every year, approximately 35,000 people in the United Kingdom die from lung cancer.
The U.K. Cancer Research organization endorsed the recommendation and added that it should be implemented “as swiftly as possible.”
“We welcome this recommendation and urge governments in all four U.K. nations to roll out a targeted lung cancer screening program as swiftly as possible,: said Dr Ian Walker in a statement to The Telegraph.
Walked added, “Lung cancer causes more deaths in the U.K. than any other cancer type, and screening could save lives by diagnosing people at an earlier stage – when treatment is more likely to be successful.’