Research from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation also says UK patients are 70% more likely to die within five years than other EU patients. The figures highlight a lack of oncologists, thoracic surgeons and radiotherapy equipment and technicians - as well as a lack of understanding of the disease amongst physicians.
According to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, UK lung cancer patients are 70% more likely to die within five years than other EU patients. Only 6% of patients survive longer than five years. Lung cancer generally has one of the poorest survival rates of all cancers.
The foundation's Jesme Baird says that the poor standard of treatment is a key factor in the decreased survival time of the disease in the UK. Dr Baird adds that improvements in identification, earlier diagnosis and better access to novel treatments are required to bring the UK in line with treatments elsewhere in the EU, bringing up-to-date care to the 40,000 patients diagnosed with lung cancer each year.
There is also a marked discrepancy in survival rates for lung cancer patients dependent on their region within the UK, signifying a lack of resources and unified view towards treatment. The difference in survival rates between the best and worst areas for lung cancer patients within the UK is fourfold.
This news highlights the need for increased physician awareness of the disease, both in terms of treatment and diagnosis. There is also a clear need for novel treatments - lung cancer drugs have advanced little in recent years compared with those for other cancers. Increasing public awareness of risk factors such as smoking for lung cancer may also be worthwhile.