Date Published: 12 January 2011
Irish Cancer Society - Lung Cancer Awareness Campaign
Lung cancer patients in Ireland should now be seen by specialist within two weeks of referral
Comedian Des Bishop Launches Irish Cancer Society's Lung Cancer Awareness Campaign 2011
The outlook for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in Ireland is now much more positive with a clear diagnosis and treatment plan in place for patients. At the launch of its 2011 lung cancer awareness campaign, the Irish Cancer Society outlined how the publication of referral guidelines for GPs and setting up of rapid access clinics in the eight designated cancer centres means that patients are being diagnosed faster and start treatment sooner. As part of the HSE Service Plan 2011, the aim under the National Cancer Control Programme is that 95% of all patients who attend the rapid access clinic will be offered an appointment within two weeks of referral.
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Ireland with 1,819 people dying last year. In the past up to 50% of patients received no treatment for lung cancer as they presented at such a late stage.
Irish Cancer Society spokesperson Norma Cronin said “the key to improving survival for lung cancer patients is early detection. This begins with people being aware of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, going to see their GP if they are concerned and being referred on to a rapid access clinic for diagnosis and treatment.?
Dr. Ross Morgan, Respiratory Physician, Beaumont Hospital said
“The late stage of presentation of lung cancer in the past meant treatment options were limited, but now there is a clear plan to ensure that people are fast tracked through to early diagnosis and treatment. Awareness campaigns like the one the Society is launching today are vital as they are the first step in the chain. If people know the signs to look out for, they are more likely to go see their GP and get referred to a specialist.?
With early detection, there is a very real chance of effective treatment and cure, and the Society is strongly encouraging people in Ireland who are concerned about lung cancer to call the Irish Cancer Society's National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700, or to visit their GP. Through the National Cancer Helpline we support patients and their families at every stage of their cancer journey and anyone with any concerns can ring in confidence and speak to a specialist nurse.
Irish Comedian Des Bishop who has spoken openly about his father's current treatment for lung cancer said today,
“It was a huge shock when my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. What I would say to people, if you are in any way concerned, get checked out. Early detection is everything.?
According to the most recent data 1,784 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in 2009 in Ireland. Up to 12% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer survive for five years or longer.
Anyone in Ireland who is concerned about lung cancer can contact the Irish Cancer Society's National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700 and speak in complete confidence with a specialist cancer nurse.
Source: The Irish Cancer Society - Press Release.