Improvement in lung surgery survival

SURVIVAL rates for lung cancer surgery continue to improve as the number of operations increase, according to a new data.

A report published by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland (SCTS) reveals that the number of people living longer than 90 days after surgery rose from 95.5 per cent to 96.2 per cent in the two years from 2012 to 2014.

The number of operations performed in the treatment of lung cancer increased 16 per cent between 2013 and 2014, with a year-on-year rise in surgical interventions from 4,895 in 2013 to 5,657 in 2014.

Diseases like heart disease or emphysema had in the past been major contraindications for surgical treatment but recent advances (such as minimal access surgery, regional anaesthesia and enhanced recovery after surgery programmes) have made surgery an option for more patients. This may explain the increase in the number of operations performed.

While 90-day survival improved, 30-day survival rates remained broadly static though still at a high level of 97.9 per cent.

The third Lung Cancer Clinical Outcome Publication (LCCOP) reports on the outcomes of operations to remove lung cancers in NHS hospitals in England during 2014. Dr Ian Woolhouse, senior clinical lead on the National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA), said: "This most recent LCCOP report shows an impressively high level of post-operative survival and it is reassuring to see that this kind of surgical treatment, although often complex, is now widely available to patients suffering with this common type of cancer.

"The LCCOP is an invaluable report that demonstrates the individual activity of surgeons and their specific contribution to lung cancer care.”