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UK audit shows major rise in lung cancer surgery over past five years

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3211
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

The number of patients with lung cancer undergoing potentially curative surgery for their condition has risen by more than half over the past five years, show figures from a national UK audit.

The audit analysed data on 37 637 patients with a diagnosis of lung cancer or mesothelioma who were first seen by hospitals in the United Kingdom during 2009. This number represents around 95% of the expected number of new cases of lung cancer.

Results showed that around one in seven patients with lung cancer underwent surgery, representing a major increase from the figure of around one in every 11 patients in 2004, when the audit first started.

Around three quarters of lung cancer patients are not suitable for surgery because their illness is diagnosed at a late stage, but the audit’s authors say that the improved surgery rate suggests …

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