Further improvement in lung cancer survival

A NEW report has confirmed a further improvement in survival rates among lung cancer patients, with 37 per cent now living at least one year after diagnosis compared to a rate of 31 per cent in 2010.

The National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) 2017 annual report published by the Royal College of Physicians has found that more cancers are being diagnosed at an earlier stage, with one in eight lung cancers found at the very earliest stage.

Higher rates of surgery have meant that 17.5 per cent of patients with non-small cell lung cancer have undergone surgical procedures compared with 16.7 per cent cited in the 2016 annual report.

The report also found that 71 per cent of patients were seen by a lung cancer nurse specialist (CNS), with 58 per cent having a lung CNS present at diagnosis. This has improved for many trusts compared over last year, when only 57 per cent of patients were recorded as being seen by a lung CNS.

Paul Beckett, senior clinical lead for the National Lung Cancer Audit, said: "It is hugely encouraging to see that more lung cancer patients than ever are beating the disease and still alive years after initial diagnosis. It is important that patients are diagnosed as early as possible, and it is therefore really positive news to see there has been a rise in those being seen at the very first stage.

"There is, however, still work to be done and I hope that through the work of this audit identifying practices that are performing well, other trusts will adopt best practice seen at high-performing hospitals so that patients do not suffer from a variance in care depending on where they live"