Figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that in 2016, 38.1 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer in the Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group area lived another year.
That falls below the 41.6 per cent survival rate across England, but is an improvement compared to 2001, when just 23.7% of patients in Preston lived beyond one year.
Now the British Lung Foundation has urged the NHS to roll out a comprehensive screening programme, saying catching lung cancer early is crucial to survival.
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Dr Penny Woods, chairwoman of the BLF’s Taskforce for Lung Health, said: “Where you live shouldn’t determine your chance of surviving lung cancer.
“It’s encouraging that the NHS is focusing on early diagnosis, and we support the recent announcement to roll out lung cancer scanning at supermarket car parks. This is a good start, but we must see this rolled out across the UK, to give everyone the best chance of survival.”
Lung cancer is the UK’s deadliest cancer, with low survival rates compared to other forms of the disease. According to Cancer Research UK, part of the reason why is because lung cancer symptoms may not become obvious until the advanced stages.
Euxton lung and bowel cancer survivor Bill Smith, 79, was treated at the Rosemere Centre in Preston. He said: “At the first sign of any problem, go to the doctor. I went to the doctor on Saturday morning and it was all go systems go by Monday. There are a lot of very good doctors working hard, it’s not all doom and gloom.”
NHS England said there was going investment in better and more accessible diagnosis checks and that cancer survival is “now at an all-time high”.