Survival rates up: But still ‘unacceptable’ variation in lung cancer care say uk experts

First ‘Ten years on’ report tracks how far lung cancer outcomes and services have progressed over last decade

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) is today (29th October) calling on the Department of Health and NHS England to urgently tackle the ‘unacceptable’ variations in lung cancer care.  Despite ‘significant’ improvements in survival and incidence rates, people with lung cancer still face huge inequalities when accessing lung cancer treatments and services – as a result of their age, socio-economic status or where they live.1

“While the predicted five year survival rate of patients diagnosed in England in 2013 is now almost double (16%) what it was ten years ago (9%), UK survival rates compare poorly with other major cancers and lag seriously behind our European counterparts,” says Dr Mick Peake, clinical lead for the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), and chair of the UKLCC’s clinical advisory group which authored the report.  “Put simply: ten years on we are not where we should be.”

According to the UKLCC’s report Ten years on in lung cancer: the changing landscape of the UK’s biggest cancer killer:-

·         Five-year survival rates for breast cancer are still up to ten times higher than lung cancer five-year survival rates in England and Wales 1,2

·         The proportion of people with early stage lung cancer varies from 33 to 63 per cent across England and Wales and rates for chemotherapy vary from 46 to 63 per cent

·         Patients receiving active treatment under the age of 65 in England is 77 per cent, compared to 20 per cent for people over 80 – nearly four times higher

·         The number of patients assigned a lung cancer clinical nurse specialist still varies significantly across England and Wales from 36 to 100 per cent

·         The number of patients being diagnosed with advanced  lung cancer varies from 11 to 76 per cent in England

·         The number of men diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK has decreased by  11 per cent – yet increased in women by 17 per cent over the last ten years                                                                                                                                                        

To address these disparities and ensure delivery of the highest quality lung cancer care, the UKLCC is pressing policy makers to ensure that lung cancer is appropriately prioritised in the implementation of the new five year cancer strategy. The UKLCC wants GP contracts to prioritise early diagnosis of lung cancer. It also wants to see an increase the number of lung cancer specialist nurses; an emphasis on the benefits of a national lung cancer screening programme; and work with commissioners to ensure patients receive access to the latest molecular diagnostic tests.  The re-instigation of the Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer awareness campaign is also imperative.

“Up to 89% of lung cancer cases are preventable across the UK,” says Mr Richard Steyn, chair of the UK Lung Cancer Coalition, and consultant thoracic surgeon and associate medical director, surgery, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. “Awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer is key to early diagnosis and better patient outcomes. Yet patients in the UK are diagnosed with more advanced disease than many other countries. In England around 40 per cent of people with lung cancer first reach specialist care via an emergency admission to hospital,” he adds.

Lung cancer remains the UK’s biggest cancer killer; it kills over 35,000 people each year, which is more than breast, bowel, bladder and uterine cancer combined.3 The disease accounts for nearly a quarter of all UK cancer deaths (22 per cent) and one in seven (13%) of all new UK cancer cases.4 It is reported that four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour (someone every 15 minutes).5 Despite, being labelled a ‘smoker’s disease’, one in eight people with lung cancer have never smoked.6

Robert Peston, the BBC economics editor recently appointed political editor by ITV – whose wife died of lung cancer – said: “Although lung-cancer survival rates in Britain are improving, they remain unacceptably poor, compared with much of the rest of the rich world. Much more money is needed for research, diagnosis and awareness campaigns.”

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For further information

Please contact Lynsey Conway on 07778 304233

Note to editors:

The publication of Ten years on: The Changing Landscape of the UK’s biggest cancer killer marks the 10th anniversary of the UKLCC’s formation and is the first UK report to assess progress in lung cancer services, treatment and outcomes over the last decade.  It provides detailed reviews each of the four UK nations, together with a list of specific requests for action.

The UKLCC is the UK’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer and was established to help bring lung cancer out of the political, clinical and media shadow and improve one-year and five-year survival rates – which has been achieved.  Its membership includes leading lung cancer experts, senior NHS professionals, charities and healthcare companies.  Its charity members are the British Lung Foundation, Tenovus Cancer Care, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, and Cancer Black Care. Please visit www.uklcc.org.ukfor more information and details of all the UKLCC partners.

The UKLCC and its members are committed to improving outcomes for lung cancer patients throughout the whole of the UK.  By working in partnership with policy-makers, service commissioners and providers, and healthcare professionals, to improve the collection of data on the performance of services and sharing examples of good practice, we hope to continue to drive improvements in standards of care across the country

References

1.        Ten years on in lung cancer: the changing landscape of UK’s biggest cancer killer. Report by UK Lung Cancer Coalition. October 2015. Accessible at: www.uklcc.org

2.        Cancer Research UK, accessed at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/survival/common-cancers-compared#heading-Zero

3.        Cancer Research UK mortality statistics accessed at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/mortality/common-cancers-compared#heading-Zero

4.        Cancer Research UK statistics accessed at http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/lung-cancer?script=true#heading-Zero

5.        Cancer Research UK statistics accessed at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/lung-cancer/mortality#undefined

 

6.        Be clear on canceraccessed at: http://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/lung-cancer/about

UK experts demand re-instigation of ‘shelved’ lung cancer awareness campaign

Clinicians working in the front-line of UK lung cancer services have today (21 July 2015) written an open letter to the Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, demanding clarity on the future of the Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer awareness campaign.1

Despite a nationwide DH funded campaign in 2012 – which resulted in raised public awareness of persistent cough as a key lung cancer symptom, more patients being urgently referred by their GPs, and an increase in the number lung cancers diagnosed2 – the Government has neglected to announce a follow-up.

“We are disappointed that the Department of Health does not appear to be building on the success of its own nationwide lung cancer awareness initiative, and that the campaign seems to have been shelved,” says Mr Richard Steyn, Chair of the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) and Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Associate Medical Director, Surgery, at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. 

Despite improvements in services in recent years, wide variations in lung cancer treatment and care continue to persist across the UK and treatment and survival rates lag behind other comparable countries in Europe.3,4 Patients in the UK are diagnosed with more advanced disease than many other countries with around 40% first reaching specialist care via an emergency admission to hospital – resulting in poorer outcomes.5

Earlier in 2015, the UKLCC provided recommendations for the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s just-published Five Year Cancer Strategy.6 It stated that improving awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, by maintaining funding for national awareness programmes, was vital to ensuring early diagnosis and treatment. 

“We are therefore calling on the new Government to re-instigate the campaign immediately – in order to encourage early diagnosis and save British lives,” added Mr Steyn. 

To access a full copy of the open letter, visit: www.uklcc.org.uk

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For further information:

Please contact Lynsey Conway on 07778 304233

Note to editors:

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer.7 There are over 35,000 deaths every year7 which amounts to a greater death toll than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer and leukaemia combined.8   It is reported that four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour.7

In 2012, as part of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative, the DH funded a campaign to raise public awareness of persistent cough as a lung cancer symptom – targeting those aged 50 or over.  The campaign encouraged those with the symptom to visit their GP.

Compared with the same time the previous year, the campaign, under the Be Clear on Cancer brand, resulted in the following positive outcomes2:-

·         Increase in public awareness of persistent cough as a lung cancer symptom (54% pre-campaign to 65% post campaign)

·         GP presentations for patients aged 50+with a cough increased by 63% during the 8 week campaign compared to the same weeks in 2011 – equivalent to three additional visits per practice per week

·         The number of urgent GP referrals for lung cancer increased by 32% during the campaign period

·         GP-referred chest X-rays (CXRs) increased by 19% in May-July 2012 compared with April 2012 – and GP-referred CT scans increase by 16% over the same period

·         9% increase in lung cancers diagnosed in the campaign period – most notably a 3% increase in the proportion of non-small cell lung cancer cases diagnosed at stage I

·         2% increase in surgical resections during the campaign

The UKLCC was founded in 2005 and is the UK’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer.  Its membership includes leading lung cancer experts, senior NHS professionals, charities and healthcare companies.  Please visit www.uklcc.org.ukfor more information and details of all the UKLCC partners.

References:

1.        Open Letter from the Clinical Advisory Group members of the UK Lung Cancer Coalition: Available at www.uklcc.org.uk

2.        Ironmonger L et al.  An evaluation of the impact of large- scale interventions to raise public awareness of a lung cancer symptom. British Journal of Cancer. 2015; 112, 207-216

3.        National Lung Cancer Audit Report 2014. Report for the audit period 2013. Accessed  at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB16019

4.        De Angelis R et al. Cancer survival in Europe 1999–2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5 – a population based study..  The Lancet Oncology. 2014; 15 (1): 23-34

5.        Elliss-Brookes L et al.Routes to diagnosis for cancer – determining the patient journey using multiple routine data sets.  Br J Cancer. 2012, 107(8):1220-6

6.        Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020; The Independent Cancer Taskforce. 19 July 2015. Accessed at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/achieving_world-class_cancer_outcomes_-_a_strategy_for_england_2015-2020.pdf

7.        Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed at:  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/lung/mortality/

8.        Figures from Cancer Research UK accessed at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/mortality/cancerdeaths/#Twenty

Lung Cancer survival rates in England must ‘Match the best in Europe’ say experts

England has one of the worst survival rates in Europe

Lung cancer survival rates in England should ‘match the best in Europe’ in order to save lives, insists a group of senior clinicians from the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) today (2st March 2015). The call comes in response to a request from NHS England’s new independent cancer taskforce for expert input into its forthcoming five-year plan.  

“Despite improvements in care over the last ten years, lung cancer survival rates in England still lag significantly behind other European countries,” says Dr Mick Peake, chair of the UKLCC’s Clinical Advisory Group and clinicallead, National Cancer Intelligence Network and National Lung Cancer Audit. “Lung cancer remains England’s biggest cancer killer – accounting for over 28,000 deaths.1

Currently, England ranks 26 out of 29 European countries in terms of lung cancer survival data – one of the worst in Europe – with only 8.8 percent of people still alive five years after diagnosis, compared to a European average of 13 percent.2

“This is primarily a result of late diagnosis and wide variation in patient experience and access to treatment across the country,” adds Dr Peake. “Tackling these challenges has been made harder by the recent NHS reorganisation, which removed advice and support to NHS lung cancer services, such as changes to the role and funding of cancer networks.”

As well as welcoming a commitment by the cancer taskforce to improving lung cancer survival rates in England, the UKLCC is also urging investment in cancer support functions and improved staffing levels across the lung cancer pathway, most specifically in lung cancer nurse specialists. It also wants sustained funding for national lung cancer awareness programmes and promoting greater support for clinical research.  

“We know over 3500 lives could be saved in the UK if survival rates for lung cancer were to match the best in Europe,” says Mr Richard Steyn, Chair of the UKLCC and Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Associate Medical Director, Surgery, at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

The UKLCC has welcomed the formation of the new, independent cancer taskforce announced by NHS England in January 2015.  Its remit is to develop a five-year action plan for cancer services that will improve cancer survival rates and ultimately save thousands of lives.

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For further information

Please contact Lynsey Conway on 07778 304233

Note to editors

The UKLCC was founded in 2005 and is the UK’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer.  Its membership includes leading lung cancer experts, senior NHS professionals, charities and healthcare companies.  Its charity members are the British Lung Foundation, Tenovus, Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, and Cancer Black Care.  Please visit www.uklcc.org.ukfor more information and details of all the UKLCC partners.

The UKLCC and its members are committed to improving outcomes for lung cancer patients throughout the whole of the UK.  By working in partnership with policy-makers, service commissioners and providers, and healthcare professionals, to improve the collection of data on the performance of services and sharing examples of good practice, we hope to drive improvements in standards of care across the country

References:

1.        Figures from Cancer Research UK accessed at:http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/lung/mortality/#source1

2.        Cancer survival in Europe 1999-2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5. December 2013.

 

3.        What if cancer survival in Britain were the same as in Europe: how many deaths are avoidable? British Journal of Cancer, 2009 Dec 3; 101 (S2): S115-S124. Accessed at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19956155 /

Improvements in MDT performance ‘too slow’ say experts

Poor progress in some areas of multidisciplinary team (MDT) working is hindering patient treatment and survival, says a new report launched today (18 December 2014) by lung cancer experts.1

According to the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC), lung cancer MDTs are not performing well in some key areas and large numbers of patients are still not being diagnosed early enough.

“The number of patients being diagnosed with stage IIIB or IV lung cancer varies from 11 percent to 76 percent across England,” says Dr Mick Peake, Chair of the UKLCC’s Clinical Advisory Group and Clinical Lead, National Cancer Intelligence Network and National Lung Cancer Audit.  “Such a high variation cannot continue if lung cancer patients are to be given the best possible chances of receiving appropriate and effective treatment.”

As well as tracking progress made since the launch of the ‘TheDream MDT for lung cancer’ published in 2012 – the report maps out 12 new priorities for the future.*

“Nearly one-third of lung cancer patients have to see their GP three times or more  before being referred to hospital; a figure which has shown no improvement in the last year,” adds Dr Peake. “We are calling for GPs to ensure that patients with signs and symptoms of lung cancer are urgently referred through the two week wait pathway. The earlier we diagnose lung cancer, the more likely patients can be treated and survive.”

The comprehensive review collates views and insights from active lung cancer MDT members across the country and analyses data on MDT performance from the most recently published National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (NCPES), National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA), and Lung Cancer Service Profiles (LCSP).

Lung cancer continues to be the UK’s biggest cancer killer.2 There are over 35,000 deaths every year2 which amounts to a greater death toll than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer and leukaemia combined.3   It is reported that four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour.2

Despite improvements in services in recent years, wide variations in lung cancer treatment and care continue to persist across the UK and treatment and survival rates lag behind other comparable countries in Europe.4,5 Patients in the UK are diagnosed with more advanced disease than many other countries and almost 40% first reach specialist care via an emergency admission to hospital.,6

TheUKLCC’S vision is to double lung cancer survival during the next six to ten years, with the co-operation of health professionals, policy makers, local primary care organisations, the NHS and Government. 

“Multi-disciplinary teams are at the heart of delivering improved outcomes for lung cancer patients, yet some aspects of MDT working still require drastic improvement across the country,” says Mr Richard Steyn, Chair of the UKLCC and Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Associate Medical Director, Surgery, at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

“Only through continual monitoring, evaluation and service improvement will all patients receive the treatment they both need and deserve.”

The UKLCC plans to undertake a further review of lung cancer MDTs in 2016 and annually thereafter.

For a copy of ‘A review of The Dream MDT: Measuring and improving high quality lung cancer outcomes’ please visit:  www.uklcc.org.uk

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Note to editors

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) is the UK’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer.  It believes that by applying the best standards already being demonstrated in the best lung cancer centres in Europe, 3,500 lives could be saved each year in the UK.

*The 12 recommendations outlined in the ‘Review of ‘The Dream MDT’:Measuring and improving high quality lung cancer outcomes’ are as follows:-

1.       MDTs should ensure the lung CNS to lung cancer patient ratio is adequate to allow CNSs to be a core part of the MDT and be available for diagnostic, treatment and end of treatment appointments for all patients

2.       GPs should ensure patients with signs and symptoms of lung cancer are urgently referred through the two week wait pathway, and proactively follow up with their patients to ensure they have received diagnostic tests and fully understand the information given to them

3.       GPs should be regularly informed as to where their patients are along the care pathway and GPs should work with the MDT to ensure patients are told why they have been referred and be provided with information about their condition and treatment options

4.       Patients with suspected lung cancer should be assessed at a dedicated rapid access clinic at the earliest possible opportunity. In addition, the diagnostic pathway should be designed by the MDT to encourage use of fewer, but higher value, tests to increase the likelihood that diagnosis and stage of the disease is assigned as quickly and effectively as possible

5.       Full and appropriate membership of the specialist team and their regular attendance at the meetings should be of paramount importance to each MDT

6.       MDTs should ensure patients are provided with written information about the type of cancer they have as soon as a diagnosis has been established and ensure the patient fully understands the information given to them and has an opportunity to ask any questions they may have

7.       All MDTs for lung cancer patients should have at least one thoracic surgeon (undertaking a minimum one full day thoracic operating, minimum one full MDT per week and a thoracic surgical outpatient clinic with CNS support) as a core member

8.       MDTs should work to ensure all patients are given appropriate treatment options before they begin their treatment regime and are fully involved in decisions about their care

9.       MDTs should ensure all lung cancer patients are given information about any possible side effects of treatment in an easy to understand format

10.    MDTs should always arrange a ‘stock-take’ meeting within a maximum of one month from the end of a patient’s treatment to assess their experience of the care pathway, determine any other treatment provision and provide assurances of possible next steps

11.   As a minimum, MDTs should routinely assess patients’ supportive and palliative care needs around the time of diagnosis, on completion of primary treatment, when there is significant deterioration of symptoms and when it becomes clear that a patient is nearing death. A particular focus should be on improving the information required by patients and carers to ensure there is appropriate ongoing support at home

12.   At each stage of the care pathway the MDT should assess if a patient is eligible for a clinical trial and, if so, ask the patient whether they would like to participate

References

1.        Review of ‘The Dream MDT’:Measuring and improving high quality lung cancer outcomes. UKLCC December 2014

2.        Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed December 2014 at:  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/lung/mortality/

3.        Figures from Cancer Research UK accessed December 2014 at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/mortality/cancerdeaths/#Twenty

4.        National Lung Cancer Audit Report 2014. Report for the audit period 2013. Accessed December 2014 at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB16019

5.        Cancer survival in Europe 1999–2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5 – a population based study. De Angelis R et al.  The Lancet Oncology.  2014; 15 (1): 23-34

6.        Routes to diagnosis for cancer – determining the patient journey using multiple routine data sets.  Elliss-Brookes L, McPhail S, Ives A, Greenslade M, Shelton J, Hiom S, Richards M. Br J Cancer. 2012, 107(8):1220-6      

For further information, please contact Lynsey Conway on 07778 304233

For further information about the UKLCC and its partners, visit www.uklcc.org.uk

Report reveals half of lung cancer patients report care delays

REPORT REVEALS HALF OF LUNG CANCER PATIENTS FACE CARE DELAYS

‘Worrying’ void between patient expectation and experience, say experts

Nearly half (46%) of lung cancer patients report experiencing delays at some stage of their care – and only two thirds (64%) say they receive prompt referral to hospital – according to a national report published today (28 November) by leading lung cancer experts.1

Published by the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC), and based on a nationwide survey to gather insights from lung cancer patients and carers, it uncovers ‘worrying’ discrepancies between what really matters to people living with lung cancer, current national targets, and the actual and care and treatment patients reported to receive. 

“Despite 95% of respondents citing ‘prompt referral to hospital’ as a priority – our survey revealed that there are still too many patients facing unacceptable care delays. This is putting lives at risk,” says consultant thoracic surgeon, and chair of the UKLCC, Mr Richard Steyn.  

In addition to care delays, the report also uncovers the ‘general lack of support and information’ received by patients and carers’ reported by survey respondents – as well as ‘mixed levels’ of public and professional awareness about the disease.   

“Only one in five (22%) of those patients surveyed reported to receive continuous support from a clinical nurse specialist; more than half were not provided with accurate information about their diagnosis (57.1%); and four out of ten respondents described their GPs’ understanding of lung cancer as ‘variable’, ‘not enough’ or ‘not at all’.  Despite, major improvements in lung cancer services in recent years, and many patients reporting a positive experience of care, these results are sobering,” he added.

As a result, the UKLCC has set out a series of practical recommendations for national and local health and social care organisations to help promote and embed a more ‘patient-centred approach’ to lung

cancer care. These include ensuring that all lung cancer patients receive a personalised care plan and that care providers produce action plans setting out steps to improve experiences reported by patients.  

“A key way to improve the lot of lung cancer patients is to really understand what matters most to them and continually track this against their actual care experiences. This is the main thrust of this report,” says Dr Mick Peake, consultant and senior lecturer in respiratory medicine, chair of the clinical advisory group of the UKLCC, and clinical lead, National Cancer Intelligence Network and National Lung Cancer Audit.    

Lung cancer continues to be the UK’s biggest cancer killer.2 There are almost 35,000 deaths every year,2 which amounts to a greater death toll than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and leukaemia combined.3   It is reported that four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour.2

TheUKLCC’S vision is to double lung cancer survival during the next eight to ten years, with the co-operation of health professionals, policy makers, local primary care organisations, NHS and Government. 

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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Note to editors

The UKLCC was founded in 2005 and is the UK’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer.  Its membership includes leading lung cancer experts, senior NHS professionals, charities and healthcare companies.  Its charity members are the British Lung Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, and Cancer Black Care.  www.uklcc.org.uk

The report: Putting patients first: Understanding what matters to lung cancer patients and carers’ is underpinned by a UK survey of lung cancer patients and carers’ undertaken by the UKLCC in June and July 2013.

The survey was available both online and in hard copy. The survey included 14 key questions on aspects of lung cancer, including awareness, diagnosis, treatment and support.  To help gather qualitative information about patients’ experiences, a number of free text boxes were provided to

afford respondents the opportunity to share any additional insights or examples from the care and treatment they experienced or observed.

In total, 432 responses were received from patients and carers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

References:

1                     Putting patients first: Understanding what matters to lung cancer patients and carers’.  UK Lung Cancer Coalition. November 2013

2                     Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed October 2013 and available at: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/lung/mortality/

3                     Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed October 2013 and available at: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/mortality/cancerdeaths/

NEW National Lung cancer survey goes ‘live’

An online survey to gather the experiences of lung cancer patients, including their families and carers, from around the country, goes ’live’ today (5th June 2013). 

Launched by the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC), the country’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer, the research hopes to uncover what really matters to people living with lung cancer – and how their experience of living with lung cancer could be improved. 

“We need to listen to lung cancer patients,” says Mr Richard Steyn, chair of the UKLCC and consultant thoracic surgeon.“Despite improvements in services in recent years, wide variations in lung cancer treatment and care continue to persist across the UK and our survival rates lag seriously behind other comparable EU countries.”

Lung cancer continues to be the UK’s biggest cancer killer.1 There are almost 35,000 deaths every year,1 which amounts to a greater death toll than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and leukaemia combined.2   It is reported that four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour.  

The survey is completely anonymous and can be accessed at: www.uklcc.org.uk.  Paper copies of the survey can also be downloaded from the website, or requested from selected lung cancer nurse specialists.

TheUKLCC’S vision is to double lung cancer survival during the next eight to ten years, with the co-operation of health professionals, policy makers, local primary care organisations, NHS and Government. 

The results of the nationwide survey will be announced later this year. 

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References:

1.        Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed October 2012 and vailable at: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/lung/mortality/

2.        Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed October 212 and available at: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/mortality/cancerdeaths/?a=5441

For further information, please contact:-

Lynsey Conway on 07778 304233 or email@lynseyconway.co.uk 

Lung cancer commissioning guide

Lung cancer commissioning guide

The current NHS reforms present a range of opportunities and challenges for those involved in the planning and the delivery of lung cancer services.  In recognition of this, the United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) has compiled a commissioning guide which highlights some of the key resources available for local commissioners when designing lung cancer services.

These changes will see clinical commissioning groups assume responsibility for planning and purchasing local health services from primary care trusts, and health and wellbeing boards becoming involved in assessing the health needs of local populations.  This guide is intended to signpost these new bodies to key information and tools to enable them to commission high quality lung cancer services.  These resources include:

  • National Lung Cancer Audit which assesses the performance of local lung cancer services and enables areas for improvement to be identified
  • Cancer Commissioning Toolkit developed by the National Cancer Intelligence Network
  • Lung Cancer Quality Standard produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which sets out key markers of high quality lung cancer care to inform the work of commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals, and provide clear information to patients about the kind of care and support they should expect to receive

We hope that this guide is a useful addition to the support available to commissioners and will help to ensure that the health reforms deliver better outcomes for lung cancer patients.

Download the guide HERE

Developing a quality standard for lung cancer care

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is in the process of developing a number of ‘quality standards’ – concise statements of what defines high-quality, cost-effective patient care in the treatment and prevention of various diseases and conditions. Development of the lung cancer quality standard is underway, and the UKLCC believes it is crucial to get this right in order to ensure that lung cancer patients across the country receive the highest standard of treatment and care.

The UKLCC has therefore published its own quality standard – a set of 20 quality statements setting out what UKLCC professionals believe constitutes best practice. The standard covers the whole patient pathway, from awareness raising and support at diagnosis stage, right through to the quality and accessibility of clinical treatment.

Click here to download a copy of the UKLCC’s lung cancer quality standard

National Lung Cancer Audit 2009: Half of patients do not see a Lung Cancer Nurse

National Lung Cancer Audit 2009: Half of patients do not see a Lung Cancer Nurse

The National Lung Cancer Audit published by the NHS Information Centre on 2nd December 2009 shows that:

  • Only half (51%) of lung cancer patients are currently seen by a lung cancer specialist nurse and only one in four have a nurse specialist present at the time of the diagnosis.
  • Where patients are seen by a lung cancer nurse, six out of ten (59.4%) receive active treatment / treatment to halt the spread of their disease*
  • Conversely, where lung cancer patients do not have access to a lung cancer specialist nurse, only three in ten (30.9%) receive any form of active treatment*

*This relationship has not been measured previously and further work will be required to define its precise significance, but it does suggest, at the very least, a strong association between good specialist nursing and other aspects of high quality care.

Other highlights from the report:

  • 94 percent of all lung cancer cases are now recorded in the National Lung Cancer Audit (over double the number first recorded in 2005)

However, despite nearly all hospital trusts in England, Scotland and Wales now participating in the Audit:

  • Only around one in ten patients receive surgery (11%) – still the best chance of a cure
  • Only about half (54%) of patients receive any form of treatment to halt the spread of their disease
  • There remains wide variation in standards across the country

Official Comment from UK Lung Cancer Coalition:

The National Lung Cancer Audit appears to show that, where specialist nurses are at the heart of the multidisciplinary lung cancer teams, patients are more likely to receive active treatment and this could have a big impact on survival. The UK Lung Cancer Coalition believes that every lung cancer patient should have access to a lung cancer nurse from the moment they are diagnosed.” Dame Gill Oliver, Chair, UK Lung Cancer Coalition.

NB Active treatment – treatment to halt spread of disease i.e. chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery

Official Comment from National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses:

“The National Lung Cancer Audit highlights the pivotal role of lung cancer nurse specialists and yet lung cancer continues to be the poor relation. On average, there is one lung cancer nurse in England for every 132 people diagnosed with lung cancer, compared to 82 people per every breast cancer nurse. Without access to lung cancer nurses, patients will suffer as they will not have access to the in-depth nursing knowledge, care and support that lung cancer specialist nurses can provide.” Liz Darlison, Chair, National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses.

Contact

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