North Somerset lung cancer survival rates highest in UK
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:38 10 June 2019
Lung cancer patients in North Somerset have a better survival rate than elsewhere in England, figures reveal.
The Office of National Statistics show 44.5 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survived past the first year in 2016 - which is almost three per cent higher than the national average.
The rate is a vast improvement compared to 2001, where little more than 28 per cent of people lived beyond a year.
Both sets of data include the areas of Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and the one-year survival rate varies considerably in the UK, nearly reaching 31 per cent in Medway, Kent, to 53 per cent in Westminster.
GP and clinical lead for specialised care at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Dr Alison Wint said: "We are delighted more people in North Somerset and across the CCG are surviving longer after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer.
"For this cancer in particular, we have introduced a change which accelerates patients with suspected tumour findings on their chest X-rays to receive an urgent CT scan.
"This has helped us to diagnose patients and start treatment quickly, and we achieved a 10 per cent increase this year in patients being treated within the target of 62 days from referral.
"We have also been working with Cancer Research UK to improve the uptake of bowel cancer screening, which is offered to everyone from the age of 60.
"We would always encourage people being referred, tested or treated for cancer to attend appointments which are offered.
"Earlier detection will give treatments the best chance of improving health and saving lives."
Lung cancer is the UK's deadliest, with low survival rates compared to other forms of the disease.
In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, bowel cancer survival rates are more than 80 per cent, which rises to 96 per cent for breast cancer.
But NHS England have stated rates of survival are now 'at an all-time high'.
Its spokesman said: "The long-term plan for the NHS will keep this momentum going, with investment in better and more accessible diagnosis checks to catch cancer sooner and save lives."