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Plea for more lung cancer nurses

A coalition of charities and healthcare professionals have called on the government to provide every lung cancer patient in Britain with a specialist nurse.

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition has staged a meeting in Westminster demanding the Department of Health to put increased provision of specialist nurses at the heart of its policy. The coalition claims one in 10 lung cancer patients currently does not have access to a specialist nurse.

Maria Guerin of the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses, said: “Despite lung cancer being the UK’s biggest cancer killer, there aren’t enough nurses compared to the number of patients diagnosed.”

According to the UK Lung Cancer Coalition, on average, there is one lung cancer nurse in England for every 132 people diagnosed with the illness, compared to 82 people for every breast cancer nurse.

The Coalition – which is a partnership of lung cancer charities, clinicians, healthcare professionals – says 200 extra special lung cancer nurses are needed in the UK to meet the shortfall.

Lung cancer kills more than 34,000 people every year, and makes up 24% of all cancer deaths in the UK. More than 38,000 people are newly diagnosed with lung cancer every year.

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UK Lung Cancer Coalition