Lung cancer survival rate poor in South Yorkshire

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LESS then a third of people diagnosed with lung cancer in South Yorkshire live beyond a year after diagnosis, according to a new report.

Nationally, 27 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women survived more than a year after discovering they had the disease in 2006, according to the Roy Castle Lung Foundation.

In Barnsley only 22.9 per cent patients lived longer than 12 months - the lowest rate in South Yorkshire.

Sheffield saw the most people survive - at 28.3 per cent - followed by Doncaster with 28 per cent and Rotherham with 25.8pc.

The figure compares poorly with the one year national survival rate for breast cancer of 96pc.

The incidence and mortality rates for lung cancer were also higher between 2004 and 2006 compared to the national average.

Doncaster had the most cases with 64.2 per 100,000 people diagnosed with the disease. The mortality rate was 52.9.

In Barnsley there were 62.9 cases per 100,000 and a mortality rate of 50.9.

In Rotherham there were 62.2 people diagnosed per 100,000 with a mortality rate of 49.4, and in Sheffield the incidence rate dropped to 60.8 per 100,000 and a mortality rate of 48.1.

Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive of the Roy Castle Foundation said: “Your chance of surviving lung cancer and receiving a treatment which could benefit you should not be decided by where you live in the country.

“There is significant geographical variation in patient survival and patient access to care and treatment.”

All South Yorkshire primary care trusts increased the amount of money spent on lung cancer between 2008/09 and 2009/10.

Last year NHS Sheffield spent £4m - a 23.4 per cent increase on the year before.

NHS Rotherham spent £1.5m, up 19.2pc. NHS Barnsley spent £1.8m, a 29.5pc hike.

NHS Doncaster spent £1.1m, but this was only a 2.2pc increase on the previous year.

Kim Fell, cancer director for North Trent said: “One year survival is a marker of how advanced the disease is at diagnosis.

“The incidence of lung cancer in South Yorkshire has been higher than the national average and historically the one year survival rates have been poorer; the main contributing factors to this have been high levels of smoking and patients presenting late to GPs with symptoms.

“To improve survival it is important people recognise symptoms earlier when it is more likely to be curable.

“Consult your GP if you have a persistent cough.”