Data collected from a new survey of 100 doctors has revealed that the treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer in the UK has failed to meet desired European standards.
The doctors who are specialised in treating patients with the disease and have participated in the survey claim that the UK denies the best possible chance of survival for its lung cancer patients, and that access to new medicines must become the country’s priority.
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation chief executive Paula Chadwick said: "Doctors treating those with advanced lung cancer do all they can for patients, yet too often they find their hands are tied, unable to offer the care needed to keep people alive as long as possible with the best quality of life.
"These results highlight that frustration is not only felt by patients and their families, but by doctors themselves. We must act to improve this situation and that means fairer investment, streamlined care and faster access to new medicines."
Of all the doctors surveyed, about half laid emphasis on survival limitations of existing treatments available on the National Health Service (NHS).
Approximately 83% stressed on the necessity for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to be more flexible while assessing new medicines, and 72% highlighted on the importance of access to new medicines for NHS patients.
The doctors also expressed their concerns regarding the state of care in the UK, which is much less when compared to other European countries.
In 2012, more than 35,000 deaths occurred in the UK due to lung cancer.
Image: False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a lung cancer cell dividing. Photo: courtesy of United States: National Institutes of Health.