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It has been reported that the second Mesothelioma Report, launched by RSP London, shows an improvement in the number of people surviving for more then one year who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The report is funded by Mesothelioma UK and uses data from over 2000 patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in England during 2014. This is reportedly the largest data set for mesothelioma in the UK.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining around the lungs and the inside of the chest wall. It takes many years to develop and most cases are linked to previous asbestos exposure.
The report has also highlighted regional variations in the treatments and interventions received by sufferers of mesothelioma. It is reported that in general, anti-cancer treatment and use of palliative chemotherapy has increased since the previous audit in 2014. Use of radiotherapy for mesothelioma patients has reduced. Although surgery is rare in these cases, the number of procedures has increased since the last audit.
It remains important for a mesothelioma diagnosis to be confirmed by a laboratory pathologist.
The recommendations in the report are aimed at Trusts and they relate to the three key areas which are Process of Care, Treatment and Outcomes. It is recommended that more then 90% of patients should be seen by a Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist and at least 85% of patients should have such a specialist present at the time of diagnosis. Where appropriate, patients should be offered active treatment, including palliative chemotherapy. All patients should also be offered access to relevant clinical trials, regardless of geographic location. High quality patient information should also be available to patients in order to guide and support effective treatment decisions.
Andrew Stinchcombe of Novum Law comments “the publication of the mesothelioma lung cancer data is very interesting and provides a very helpful insight into the current position in England. It is clearly good news that the one year survival rate has increased, and these audits must be continued in the future to ensure that accurate data is available and appropriate decisions can be taken. We hope that further funding will become available for more research and treatments for sufferers of mesothelioma”.