UK lung cancer rates lag behind other countries

12 February 2013

The UK has a poor lung cancer survival rate compared to a number of other countries, new research shows.

A study by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) found the country's one-year lung cancer survival lags behind Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

One-yea survival from non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease, stands at 30 per cent in the UK, 34 per cent in Denmark and 46 per cent in Sweden.

The study of more than 57,000 lung cancer patients who received a cancer diagnosis in 2004-07 found UK survival figures were amongst the lowest at all stages compared to the other countries.

Researchers said late diagnosis and lack of treatment access may contribute to the poor UK lung cancer survival rates.

Commenting on the research, Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: "This study and the ongoing work of the ICBP are hugely important. We’re learning more about the differences in cancer survival between countries and what might explain them. We need this information if we’re to help improve the outcome for cancer patients."

Around 35,000 people die from lung cancer in the UK each year.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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