- 4 updates
More needs to be done to improve lung cancer survival rates in England and Wales to bring them in line with the best in Europe, according to the clinical director for cancer at NHS England.
Sean Duffy said: "During the regional pilot, trusts within the campaign area saw a 14% increase in lung cancer cases diagnosed compared with a year earlier, whereas there was only a 4.7% increase in trusts outside the pilot area.
"However, more needs to be done for our survival rates to be as good as the best in Europe. If they were, it is estimated that around 1,300 deaths could be avoided each year."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged people with a persistent cough to visit a doctor in case it is a sign of lung cancer.
Mr Hunt, who is supporting a new campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the signs of lung cancer, said:
"More people die from lung cancer than any other cancer in England, but many people don't know the signs and symptoms that could save their lives.
"The message from this campaign is clear - if you have a persistent cough, go and see your doctor. The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the more likely that treatment will be successful.
"I am committed to improving cancer survival rates and have set out an ambition to save an extra 5,000 lives every year by 2014 - getting people diagnosed early is one part of our drive to have the best cancer services in the world."
Lung Cancer is the second most common cancer in England and Wales, with an estimated 40,800 new cases every year.
The disease mainly affects older people with the majority of people diagnosed between 70 and 74 years old.
Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- persistent coughing
- an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
- coughing up blood
- unexplained weight loss
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- loss of appetite
For more information on lung cancer visit the Cancer Research UK website.
People who suffer from a persistent cough should see their GP in case it is a sign of lung cancer, according to health chiefs.
A new stage of the NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign has been launched in a bid to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer which claims the lives of over 28,000 people a year .
The campaign - which will see adverts featuring real GPs on TV and radio, as well as face to face events in shopping centres - is targeting men and women over the age of 50 who are most at risk.
Almost a fifth of this group admit they have not consulted their doctor in the past when they have suffered with a persistent cough, instead hoping it will clear up on its own.
According to research, people diagnosed at the earliest stage of the disease are five times more likely to survive lung cancer for at least five years than those diagnosed later.
Almost 24,000 people a year in England are diagnosed with lung cancer at a late stage, with just 15 per cent of cases discovered early when the treatment is more likely to be successful.