Call to improve 'lagging' survival rates for lung cancer patients

lung cancer

Challenge to increase lung cancer five-year survival rates to 25% by 2025

A new report by the UK Lung Cancer Coalition of charities and doctors is challenging governments to increase five-year survival rates to 25% by 2025. If achieved, this will result in at least 4,000 deaths prevented within five years of diagnosis each year - or over the UK 11,000 deaths prevented per year overall.

Lung cancer remains the UK’s biggest cancer killer, accounting for nearly a quarter of all UK cancer deaths - more than breast, bowel, bladder and uterine cancer combined. 

Lung cancer diagnosis and treatment

Whilst early diagnosis is the most important factor for improving five-year survival rates, major new developments in the treatment of lung cancer, such as Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR), hold the promise of not only curing inoperable early stage lung cancer, but do so with minimal toxicity. Patients can benefit from longer disease and symptom control and improved quality of life.

Only 27% of patients questioned in the UK Lung Cancer Coalition survey said they visited their doctor because they recognised the signs and symptoms of lung cancer.

Lung cancer symptoms

Macmillan Cancer Support state that the most common symptoms are:

  • A cough for three weeks or more.
  • A change in a cough you’ve had for a long time.
  • A chest infection that doesn’t get better, or repeated chest infections.
  • Feeling breathless and wheezy for no reason.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Chest or shoulder pain that doesn’t get better.
  • A hoarse voice for three weeks or more.

Other possible symptoms are:

  • Losing weight for no obvious reason.
  • Feeling extremely tired (fatigue).
  • The ends of fingers change shape – they may become larger or rounded (clubbing).

It is important that these symptoms are investigated promptly and patients are urged to contact their GP without delay.

SABR radiotherapy treatment

For further information about Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy, visit our website.

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