Introduction The United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) was established in 2005 with the primary goal of doubling five-year survival rates in lung cancer by 2015. Estimates suggest that the UKLCC has met this goal in England, with improvements also seen in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UKLCC is now looking to set a new ambition to substantially raise five-year survival rates by 2025.
Method The UKLCC surveyed 102 patients and carers, 148 healthcare professionals, and 1,003 general practitioners (GPs) asking questions related to improvement of five-year survival rates for lung cancer.
Results Awareness: Over 40% of patients and carers stated they did not know that weight loss, tiredness and chest pain are possible symptoms of lung cancer.
Screening: 52% of HCPs believe their Government should introduce a national screening programme for lung cancer.
Early diagnosis: 68% of HCPs believe that prompt access to investigative testing including blood tests, chest x-rays and CT scans are the greatest challenge to rapid diagnosis.
Waiting times: 36% of patients were waiting over one month for confirmation of a suspected lung cancer diagnosis and 17% waited over two months.
Achievability of survival: 49% of patients and carers believe surviving lung cancer for more than five years to be achievable. However, 65% of HCPs consider it difficult to achieve and 15% “completely unachievable”.
Local variation: 84% of the HCPs believe regional inequalities in health and care services have a moderate or major impact on lung cancer survival rates.
Conclusion Analysis of the results shows that improvement in prevention, early-stage diagnosis and awareness of signs and symptoms among the public, could play a significant part in improving five-year survival. The results also show that patients and carers are more optimistic about the achievability of surviving lung cancer for more than five years (though this discounts patients who were not well enough to complete the survey) than HCPs.