Introduction Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United Kingdom1. A national campaign to increase public awareness of lung cancer was launched in May 2012 by the Department of Health. It aimed to increase early diagnosis of lung cancer, thus survival rate. This study assessed the effectiveness of the campaign in increasing early diagnosis, curative treatment rate and survival rate of lung cancer in East Kent Hospital Trust.
Method This was a retrospective cohort study, which compared data from patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer over a 3-month period at 2 weeks following the launch of the campaign to those over the same period in 2011. The data was obtained from the data which were submitted to the National Lung Cancer Audit and the trust wide electronic patient record system.
Results There was a 30% increase in the number of lung cancer diagnosed in the 2012 cohort with the proportion of female patients increased by 4% in 2012 ( Figure 1). There was a 9% increase in the number of cases which were curative by staging at the time of diagnosis following the campaign, though this was statistically insignificant (Figure 1). This said increase however did not yield an increase in the curative treatment rate and survival rate (Figure 1). This was due to a lack of a corresponding improvement in performance status at the time of diagnosis.
Conclusion The results showed that the campaign successfully increased the number of lung cancer diagnosed. There was also a non-statistically significant increase in the number of cases which were curative by staging at the time of diagnosis. This however did not yield any significant change in the curative treatment rate or survival rate due to smoking-induced patient co-morbidities. The cough campaign is successful but further work on smoking cessation programmes is necessary.
Office for National Statistics (2013) Cancer Registration Statistics, England 2011. London:Office for National Statistics, p. 1–3
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