MPs unite to double lung cancer survival

Lung Cancer Awareness Month 1 – 30 November

MPs from all sides of the political spectrum have joined forces with UK lung cancer experts to double lung cancer survival.

The UK has one of the worst lung cancer survival rates in Europe1 and only just under four percent (3.9%) of the current NHS cancer research budget is dedicated to lung cancer,2 despite being the UK’s biggest cancer killer.3

Parliamentarians such at Frank Dobson, the former health secretary and MP for Holborn and St Pancras, and Anne Milton, MP for Guildford and member of the Health Select Committee, are working with the United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) to urge Government to improve the lives of lung cancer victims who are generally less empowered than other cancer patients and often unfairly stigmatized. 

“More women die from lung cancer than breast cancer3 and one in eight cases of lung cancer are among people who have never smoked,4”says Dr Mick Peake, chair of the UKLCC and NHS national clinical lead for lung cancer. “Yet lung cancer continues to suffer from a postcode lottery. We want to put the disease in the political and media spotlight.”

Currently, you are four times more likely to survive lung cancer in some parts of the country than others.5

According to the UKLCC, thousands of lives can be saved over the next ten years by doubling current survival rates. Currently, just a quarter of people with lung cancer in England (25%) will live for a year and less than one in ten (7% in England) will still be alive five years after diagnosis.6,7

“We know if we apply the best standards of care already being demonstrated in some parts of the country, and if we diagnose people early, we can double one year and five year lung cancer survival rates by 2016,” says Dr Mick Peake. “We estimate that nearly 5,000 lives could be saved as a result.”

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) is a powerful new coalition of the UK’s leading lung cancer experts, senior NHS and Department of Health professionals, charities and healthcare companies. Itis the UK’s largest multi-interest group in lung cancer.  This is the first time that all the major charities with an interest in lung cancer have come together.


Picture caption:-

From left to right: Dr Jesme Fox, co-chair of the United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition and medical director, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Graham Brady MP (Conservative, Altrincham and Sale West), Rob Wilson MP (Conservative, Reading East), Sir Peter Soulsby MP (Labour, Leicester South), Mark Durkan MP (SDLP, Foyle), Madeleine Moon MP (Labour, Bridgend) and Mark Hunter (Lib Dem, Cheadle)



The UKLCC Lung Cancer Parliamentary Champions are:-

John Battle MP – Leeds West

Rt Hon Frank Dobson MP – St Pancras

Mark Durkan MP – Foyle

Sharon Hodgson MP – Gateshead East and Washington West

John Leech MP – Manchester Withington

Anne Milton MP – Guildford

MadeleineMoon MP – Bridgend

Sir Peter Soulsby MP – Leicester South

Jo Swinson MP – East Dunbartonshire

Rob Wilson MP – Reading East


Note to editors:-

Lung cancer kills over 33,000 people each year – more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and leukaemia combined.3 Around 22,500 men and 15,200 women are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.6 Half of all diagnosed will die within six months.8


For further information about Lung Cancer Awareness Month visit: or


For further information and interviews, please contact:- 

Lynsey Conway on 07778 304233, Rachel Ulph on 07958 992185 or Sarah Lee on 0207 340 6203





  1. EUROCARE 3. Cancer survival in Europe: IARC, 2003 (Accessed 14 Suppl 5, at and
  2. Lung Cancer Research in the UK 2006, Report of the NCRI Strategic Planning Group on Lung Cancer”, October 2006

4.    UKfigures extrapolated from Mannino DM, Ford E, Giovono GA & Thun M. ‘Lung cancer deaths in the United States from 1979 to 1992: an analysis using multiple-cause mortality data. Int J Epidemiol 1998; 27: 159-166



7.    One- and five-year survival of patients diagnosed in 1998-2001: 21 common cancers, sex and age, England. 2005. (Accessed at

8.    Cancer Research UK Statistics Dept 


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