Lung cancer care failing in the UK

Tuesday 20th November 2012
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Lung cancer is one of the biggest killers in the UK and the poor standard of care is proving detrimental to survivors, an expert group has determined.

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition has severely criticised the way the disease is treated in health services across the UK and noted that a lack of access to specialist teams and poor awareness were becoming increasingly prominent problems. A new report by the coalition noted that more could be done to reduce the amount of deaths that are caused by lung cancer and that allowing patients to get the best possible care is imperative to ensure that they have better survival rates to the current levels they are at now.

Officials at the coalition have outlined a number of key improvements that will help to boost the standard of treatment within NHS facilities. Among these the organisation noted that giving patients access to specialists to deal with them directly can significantly benefit their illness and assist them on the road to recovery. However, the coalition noted that this type of treatment is not happening in around a third of people with lung cancer at the moment.

Duleep Allirajah, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, told the BBC: "For too long lung cancer has been one of the more overlooked cancers, despite being the UK's biggest cancer killer. Implementation of these recommendations, especially with regards to vital and often life saving surgery, would undoubtedly go a long way to improving survival, where we still trail behind Europe."

Lung cancer is the second most common form of the illness in England and Wales with figures from the NHS estimating that 40,800 new cases of the disease are confirmed every year. While it is fairly rare in people under the age of 40, smoking has been highlighted as a major cause for the onset of the disease and has been responsible for 85 to 90 per cent of confirmed cases within the two countries.

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written by Alex Franklin StortfordADNFCR-1780-ID-801491463-ADNFCR

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