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Third of lung cancer patients diagnosed in an emergency


3 November 2015

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More than a third (34%) of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed in an emergency, when there is a reduced chance of curative treatment, a report revealed.

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer, accounting for one in five of all cancer deaths, and survival rates in the UK lag behind those in Europe and the USA.

More than a third (34%) of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed in an emergency, when there is a reduced chance of curative treatment, a report revealed.

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer, accounting for one in five of all cancer deaths, and survival rates in the UK lag behind those in Europe and the USA.

The report, from the British Lung Foundation, also called for a  commitment be made to rapid adoption of a targeted, evidenced-based lung cancer screening programme, and for GPs to be able to make direct access referrals for CT scans for patients with suspected lung cancer, without having to refer them to a specialist. The charity said: “This could mean overall savings for the NHS by reducing emergency admissions and avoiding late diagnosis.”

In response public health minister Jane Ellison said: “Early diagnosis and access to swift and effective treatment is crucial to improving survival rates. Although the rate of emergency lung cancer diagnoses has fallen, too many lung cancer patients are being diagnosed at this stage. We are moving in the right direction but we know we have to do more.

 “It is also important that we maintain a relentless focus on the reducing the causes of cancer. Smoking rates are currently at their lowest ever levels and I want to continue this downward trend,” she added.

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