Durkan continues fight for improved lung cancer survival rates

Foyle MP Mark Durkan fighting for improved lung cancer survival rates with Jonathan Blades from the British Lung Foundation.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan fighting for improved lung cancer survival rates with Jonathan Blades from the British Lung Foundation.

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SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has met leading lung cancer experts at Westminster to discuss the poor state of lung cancer survival in the UK – not least in Derry and throughout the North.

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer accounting for one in five of all cancer deaths. Survival rates lag behind those in the rest of Europe and the US, with just one in ten patients in the UK surviving for five years post-diagnosis.

Mr Durkan, who is Vice–Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer, attended last week’s launch of the British Lung Foundation’s new report into tackling the emergency presentation of lung cancer – which highlights that 34% of lung cancer patients in the UK are diagnosed as an emergency, when the condition tends to be more advanced and there is a reduced chance of receiving curative treatment.

He said: “Lung cancer has a devastating impact on people in Derry and throughout the North.

“I was delighted to meet leading experts in the field to hear about their important recommendations for tackling the high rates of emergency presentation of this terrible disease.

“Lung cancer patients diagnosed through emergency routes have a worse experience of care than those diagnosed via other routes. It is therefore vital that we do everything we can to improve diagnosis, support and treatment for the condition, in order to ensure improved survival outcomes.

“I am also delighted to support the British Lung Foundation and the work of the Expert Lung Cancer Working Group in Parliament. As Vice–Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer, I will continue to fight for lung cancer patients and their families, not just in Derry but throughout these islands.”