14th August 2020

Early detection of lung cancer is on the rise

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More people are being diagnosed with lung cancer early, according to latest figures from the National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA).

Using data provided by Public Health England (PHE), the Welsh Cancer Network, and lung cancer teams in Jersey and Guernsey, the NCLA aims to provide essential insight into the quality care and outcomes for people with lung cancer before making recommendations to improve the experiences of those affected by the disease.

In its latest report, published on Thursday 13th August, the number of people who were diagnosed with early stage lung cancer has increased to 29 per cent (up from 26% in 2016). Similarly, the number of people diagnosed with late stage lung cancer has decreased from 53% to 49% for the same period.

One-year survival in people diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer increased significantly from 45% to 63%.

The number of people who had access to specialist nursing also increased from 71% to 74%. It is absolutely vital that people receive the support from a lung cancer nurse specialist; a research study found people with lung cancer lived longer and coped better with treatments when under the care of a lung cancer nurse specialist. They also had a lower risk of being admitted into hospital unnecessarily.

Paula Chadwick is the chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation:

“The latest figures from the national lung cancer audit are very promising, particularly the increase in early detection rates.

This year marks our 30th anniversary. When we first set out, it was our aim to give those diagnose the best chance of survival. We know early detection is the key to unlocking this and the fact that nearly a third of patients are now diagnosed early is an incredible step forward, and with the help of this invaluable audit, we hope to see these rates continue to rise and the lung cancer landscape continue to improve.”

The latest audit is available to read here.