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Lung cancer surgery survival increase

A report published by the Royal College of Physicians and the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland demonstrates that survival rates after major lung cancer surgery is improving.

Rates of survival increases to 96%

Surgery offers the best chance of a cure for lung cancer patients, and the results of the second Lung Cancer Consultant Outcome Publication (LCCOP) shows that 96 patients out of 100 are alive 90 days post-surgery, compared with 95 in 2012. These results demonstrate a reassuringly high level of safety for what is often complex surgery, especially considering the age and health profile of patients with lung cancer.

A significant increase in the number of operations carried out in England for the treatment of lung cancer, demonstrates a clear commitment from care teams to ensure that this kind of surgical procedure is now widely available to patients wherever possible and appropriate.

Dr Ian Woolhouse, senior clinical lead on the National Lung Cancer Audit said:

These results are very impressive and should serve to reassure patients that lung cancer surgery is very safe.

The National Lung Cancer Audit team is committed to working together with the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery to increase the number of successful lung cancer operations even further, whilst maintaining the current high levels of post-operative survival.

Mr Doug West, audit lead for the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain & Ireland said:

These excellent survival rates after lung cancer surgery will be very reassuring to patients and their families facing this common and serious form of cancer. Our challenge now is to continue increasing access to surgery, so that all suitable patients can benefit. 

The collaboration between the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery and the National Lung Cancer Audit is an ideal foundation on which to build a robust audit to drive further improvement.

The LCCOP audit measures outcomes of individual consultant thoracic and cardiothoracic surgeons who carry out surgery for lung cancer. The data is published as part of the NLCA programme, in response to an initiative of NHS England (Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients), aspiring to create greater transparency and as a result, more choice for patients and commissioners.

The full data is available at The Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain & Ireland.

The NLCA programme is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP)*, and is managed by the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit of the Royal College of Physicians.

Notes to editors

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Jessica Smith, communications adviser, RCP Care Quality Improvement Department on 020 3075 2399

The National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) is an established and valued national clinical audit whose work dates back to 2003. It currently forms part of the National Clinical Audit Programme. Email nlca@rcplondon.ac.uk for further information. 

Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain & Ireland is the representative body for cardiothoracic surgery in Great Britain & Ireland and aims to continuously improve the quality of healthcare. 

*About HQIP, the National Clinical Audit Programme and how it is funded

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) is led by a consortium of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of Nursing and National Voices. Its aim is to promote quality improvement, and in particular to increase the impact that clinical audit has on healthcare quality in England and Wales. HQIP holds the contract to manage and develop the National Clinical Audit Programme, comprising more than 30 clinical audits that cover care provided to people with a wide range of medical, surgical and mental health conditions. The programme is funded by NHS England, the Welsh Government and, with some individual audits, also funded by the Health Department of the Scottish Government, DHSSPS Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Partnership organisations include: