A Somerset GP is inviting anyone who has had treatment for lung cancer in the county to complete a survey about their early symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Amelia Randle, the GP Cancer Lead with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), hopes that the results of her survey will provide helpful information to GP colleagues and assist with the future planning of lung cancer services.
Earlier month NHS England and Cancer Research UK confirmed that Somerset CCG had been accepted as part of a national pilot scheme working with family doctors and hospital specialists helping to improve the early detection and treatment of the disease.
Lung cancer is not the most common form of cancer but survival rates in the UK are not as good as other countries. Doctors also know that the likelihood of surviving more than five years after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer depends upon how early the disease had been detected and treatment started.
In countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Australia that have better public awareness and early diagnosis campaigns, at least 17% of lung cancer patients survive more than five years from diagnosis. Here in England the survival rate is just 8.7% of patients.
Research also shows that too often a first diagnosis of lung cancer occurs after the patient has been admitted as an emergency to a hospital Accident and Emergency Department. When diagnosed at an advanced stage the likelihood of a lung cancer patient surviving 12 months is just 9%. Compare this with a referral via a GP consultation or a hospital outpatient clinic where the 12 month survival rate rises to more than 39% of patients.
Dr Amelia Randle explained: “Early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer is the key to a patient’s long-term survival. That is why GPs, patients, carers, volunteers and the wider community could all be helping to save more lives by being more aware of the disease. Somerset lung cancer patients and their carers can complete the survey online or have a copy sent to them. We are working closely with Cancer Research UK and MacMillan Cancer Support and as GPs it is our hope that a time will come when all lung cancer patients will be able to say; I was diagnosed early, I understood my diagnosis and treatment and I was able to continue to enjoy life and felt I was supported.
“If your life or that of a loved one has been affected by lung cancer please complete our survey or visit the Somerset CCG Lung Cancer web site to help shape local services.”
Help improve local services; complete the online lung cancer survey:
If you live in Somerset and have been diagnosed with lung cancer or care for someone who has, you can help improve local services and support by completing the NHS Somerset CCG online survey. Go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BTC2Z2F
MacMillan Cancer Support provides advice and information to anyone who has had a diagnosis of lung cancer. To find out more visit www.macmillan.org.uk
Or call their free telephone helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm).
Note for Editors
Somerset CCG is now part of an innovative pilot programme known as ‘ACE’, involving NHS England and Cancer Research UK. The scheme aims to accelerate the testing of alternative approaches to cancer diagnosis and pathways of care.
The pilot builds upon the evidence from the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI). The initiative is working to improve clinical practice and systems which in turn will support GPs to achieve prompt and more accurate diagnosis. This is expected to improve upon current patient survival rates.