Lung cancer research
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
One in three people with lung cancer disease dies within 90 days of diagnosis, new research suggests.
Scientists based at the University of Nottingham carried out a study of lung cancer cases in 20,142 people aged over 30. Lung cancer kills more than 35,000 people a year and is the biggest cause of cancer death in the UK.
The researchers tried to find the reason why fewer people in the UK with lung cancer survive than in other countries.
The odds of an early death rose with the number of GP consultations a patient attended, they found. Those who had died had visited their GP an average of five times in the months before diagnosis, the study said. Even surgeries that carried out lots of chest X-rays did not appear to translate to a reduction in early deaths from lung cancer, it said.
The research also found that men were more likely to die of lung cancer than women – 57%, or 11,468, of those who died were men. Of these, 3,585 died within 90 days of diagnosis compared with 2,498 of the women.
The researchers called for software allowing doctors to type in symptoms of lung cancer to rapidly identify the fatal disease, which is the most difficult to diagnose as symptoms can look like other conditions, such as chest infections.
Data due from trials in the next two years would help decide the best, cost-effective treatments.