November is Lung Cancer awareness month, a public health campaign to encourage people displaying the common symptoms of lung cancer, such as a persistent cough, breathlessness or unexplained weight loss, to visit their GP.
Key facts about lung cancer:
- Lung cancer kills more people in Britain than any other cancer
- The majority of lung cancer cases present for the first time in A&E
- The majority of lung cancer cases are diagnosed after it has spread
- Cases of lung cancer continue to rise.
- The earlier a cancer is diagnosed the better the prognosis
- The five year survival rate for those with advanced forms of the disease is as low as 6%
- People with COPD have a 3.33 times increased risk of developing lung cancer compared to smokers without COPD
- Can you write down the clinical red flags that would prompt you to refer immediately to a two week wait lung cancer pathway or arrange an urgent chest x-ray?
- Use these resources to help prevent and diagnose lung cancer early:
- Smoking can be linked to 86% of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer. Use these PCRS-UK resources to encourage your patients to quit smoking.
Read this report, ‘25 by 25. A ten year strategy to improve lung cancer survival rates’, by The UK Lung Cancer Coalition, which calls for a ‘drastic’ improvement in lung cancer care to improve survival rates by 2025. One of the key recommendations is to improve prompt referral and early diagnosis. Carol Stonham and Steve Holmes, two Executive Committee members of PCRS-UK, sit on the expert panel which compiled this report. Download it HERE