Lung Cancer Survival Rates 'Poor'

New Report From MacMillan Has Revealed Lung Cancer Survival Rates Across The UK Are Very Poor

04.04.2014

A new study from MacMillan has found lung cancer survival rates are very poor.

Around half of people with the disease die within six months of diagnosis and one in five pass away within 30 days of being told they have the disease.

MacMillan believes this is caused by a lack of funding for research projects in this area, with other areas like breast cancer and prostate cancer garnering substantially more donations.

Prostate cancer sufferers have a 25 per cent chance of living a long, healthy life free from complications after being diagnosed with the disease, much higher than the figures for lung cancer.

Although this number may seem low, many of the people diagnosed with prostate cancer have pre-existing medical conditions, or are elderly and would not expect to live for a long period of time anyway.

MacMillan's campaign to improve lung cancer outcomes is part of a wider attempt to equalise funding across all types of cancer.

The most common type of brain cancer, glioblastoma has a one per cent survival rate and the amount of funding into this rare malignancy is substantially lower than that given to other types of cancer.

Ciarán Devane, chief executive of MacMillan Cancer Support, said: "The cancer story has changed and it's complicated. These findings reveal such stark variations between what happens to people after they are diagnosed with different types of cancer, which makes the case for taking action even more urgent than before.

"Cancer is not just one disease, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and aftercare."

In an attempt to raise money for less well funded cancers, MacMillan has been working with large businesses to gather public donations.

The charity recently announced a partnership with Poundland has raised more than £1 million, with staff across the budget store completing a number of fundraising objectives, including cycle rides from London to Paris and marathons across the UK.

Expert Opinion
The findings in the report from Macmillan are worrying and highlight that patients suffering with lung cancer can experience a rapid decline.

“Health professionals are of course aware of this and more needs to be done to train GPs to ensure they recognise the symptoms and refer the patient for the appropriate specialist treatment before it is too late.

“I hope the release of these figures leads the NHS to carefully consider the processes it has in place to ensure fair and consistent delivery of treatment based upon each individual patient’s needs.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner