Report shows big increase in number of lung cancer operations

The number of lung cancer patients having life-saving surgery has risen by more than 50 per cent in five years, a report shows.

About one in seven patients - more than 4,500 people every year - now has surgery, compared with about one in 11 five years ago, according to the National Lung Cancer Audit 2010.

Lung cancer, which kills more people in the UK than any other cancer, is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, which means that up to three-quarters of patients are not suitable for surgery.

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But fresh figures suggest that more surgeons have developed the expertise to assess patients who might benefit, as well as having access to more complex surgical techniques.