Its prognosis is poor; five year survival rates in England are 5.2% for men and 7.5% for women.
There is evidence that outcomes vary within the UK, which may be explained by variations in the standard of care.
The new quality standard for lung cancer consists of 15 quality statements that describe high-quality, cost-effective care that, when delivered collectively, should contribute to improving the effectiveness, safety and experience of care for people with lung cancer. These include ensuring people are made aware of the symptoms and signs of lung cancer through local coordinated public awareness campaigns that result in early presentation and that people presenting with one or more symptoms suggesting lung cancer are referred within 1 week of presentation for a chest X-ray or directly to a chest physician who is a core member of the lung cancer multi-disciplinary team. It also states that people with known or suspected lung cancer should have access to a named lung cancer clinical nurse specialist who they can contact between scheduled hospital visits.
Dr Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE said: “Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the UK and despite major advances in treatment over the past ten years or so, there is still evidence of variations in the standard of care patients receive. This quality standard clearly sets out what healthcare professionals should do and what patients should expect from them.
“NICE is today also publishing a new quality standard on hip fractures. Affecting around 75,000 people each year, they are more common than people might expect. Because of the ageing population and the expected rising numbers of people experiencing such fractures, it is important that there are clear standards in place that can aid healthcare professionals in the treatment and care of those affected.”