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Monday 24th October 2016

Better treatment for lung cancer

5th November 2007

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition has said improvements need to be made in order to improve lung cancer survival rates in England.


The group of experts have laid out a plan for better detection and treatment, as well as more funding for research. They said a screening pilot could determine which people might be helped by tests for the disease.

Lung cancer causes one in four deaths from cancer and 50% of all patients will be dead within six months of being diagnosed.

Recent figures showed that the UK had the second lowest five year survival rates in Europe. The UKLCC said only around 8% of patients in Scotland and England survived for five years. By comparison, lung cancer patients in Iceland had a survival rate of nearly 17%.

Dame Gill Oliver, UKLCC chair, said there were also alarming differences in survival rates around England.

"Despite service improvements, you are four times more likely to survive lung cancer in some parts of England than others," she said.

She said that patients were often diagnosed late because they didn't now which symptoms to look for. She also mentioned the nihilistic attitude of some doctors when treating the disease.

The government stated that its Cancer Reform Strategy, which will be released at the end of the year, would improve survival rates.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "We accept that further improvements in cancer services are needed to continue to reduce the gap between us and the rest of northern and western Europe".

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