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Paul Sankey: 1,500 unnecessary lung cancer deaths?

1,500 patients are dying each year from lung cancer because they are not receiving surgery according to research by NHS surgeons. An audit by the Society of Cardiothoracic surgeons of lung cancer patients suggests that most hospitals offer surgery to only 30% of people who would benefit.

Cases involving mistakes in diagnosing and treating cancer forms quite a large part of my work and that of my colleagues and I follow developments in cancer research quite closely. It is only a few days since reports that too many patients were undergoing surgery for breast cancer and now we are told that too few are being operated for lung cancer. This is probably a sign of quite how complex medical decisions are. Surgery can be life-saving for some cancer patients. For others it risks serious complications and for some it may make little difference to the progress of their disease.
It is however worrying to see that lives may be lost because of too little lung cancer surgery. This is a highly debilitating condition which often progresses quite rapidly. Unless it is caught early and properly treated the prospects of survival are often quite poor. It is therefore important that, if the Cardiothoracic surgeons are right, practice changes within the NHS.Paul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.