UKLCC National survey on lung cancer survival

Lung cancer is by far the UK’s biggest cancer killer1, causing more deaths in males and females than breast and bowel cancer combined2.  Despite this, we know that lung cancer doesn’t get the prioritisation it deserves – receiving less than four per cent of all current UK cancer research funding3.

With the UK in some instances still lagging behind our European counterparts in survival rates4, we know that more can, and should be done to improve survival for those diagnosed with lung cancer – 1300 deaths from lung cancer alone could be avoided each year if the UK survival rates matched the European average5.

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) – the country’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer – was established in 2005 with the primary goal to address this challenge, specifically to double five year survival rates for lung cancer by 2015 – and we are delighted that estimates now suggest that we have met this goal in England6, with improvements also seen in Scotland6, Wales8 and Northern Ireland9.

The UKLCC has campaigned tirelessly with health professionals, health organisations, cancer networks, royal colleges, parliamentarians and governments to give people diagnosed with lung cancer new hope for survival.  Through a variety of activities, including the publication of a number of ground-breaking UK reports – people with lung cancer in the UK are now far more likely to survive five years after being diagnosed with lung cancer than they were ten years ago.  But we know that we can do better.  

The UKLCC is now looking to set a new UK five year survival ambition for lung cancer and has launched a series of nationwide surveys to gather information from patients, carers and healthcare professionals on what can be done to ensure that people diagnosed with lung cancer have the best chance of survival.

We know that the key to setting this new ambition, is to hear the views of those with experience of lung cancer and those who care for such individuals, including carers and health care professionals.  Wherever appropriate, we want to encourage people to fill in the survey and tell us what they think.  We want their voices to be heard and, ultimately, set a new ambition for survival.

The survey is now available on our website and the results will be shared later this year. Please share this link

Professor Mick Peake

Honorary Consultant and Professor of Respiratory Medicine,
University of Leicester
Clinical Lead, National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS),
Public Health England

Mr Richard Steyn

Consultant Thoracic Surgeon; Associate
Medical Director – Surgery, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
Honorary Associate Professor, University of Warwick & Chair of the UKLCC

  1. NHS Choices, Lung cancer myths and facts, April 2015. Accessed April 2016 via: Lungcancermythsandfacts.aspx
  2. Cancer Research UK, Cancer mortality for common cancers: Twenty most common causes of cancer death. Accessed April 2016 via: http://www.cancerresearchuk. org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/mortality/common-cancers-compared#heading-Zero
  3. National Cancer Research Institute, Cancer research Spending in the UK 2002-2011: An overview of the research funded by NCRI Partners, 2013. Accessed April 2016 via:
  4. R De Angeli et al, ‘Cancer survival in Europe 1999–2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5—a population-based study’, Lancet Oncology, 2014, 15(1), pp.23-34
  5. Department of Health, Campaigns to promote earlier diagnosis of cancer (Gateway Ref: 16390), August 2011. Accessed April 2016 via: https:// system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/215493/dh_128972.pdf
  6. Walters S, Benitez-Majano S, Muller P, et al., ‘Is England closing the international gap in cancer survival?’ Br J Cancer, 4 April 2016, doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.265. Accessed April 2016 via:
  7. ISD Scotland, Cancer Statistics.  Accessed May 2016 via:
  8. Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Cancer in Wales 2001 -2014. Accessed April 2016 via:
  9. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Lung, Trachea Bronchus: Mortality 1993-2013. Accessed May 2016 via: