NHS Scotland Optimal Lung Cancer Diagnostic Pathway
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland. Around 5,500 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year. The number of new cases is predicted to increase by 29% for women and 12% for men by 2027.
There is a higher incidence of lung cancer diagnosis (all stages) in the most deprived areas of Scotland - more than double the number than in the least deprived areas.
The NHS Scotland Optimal Lung Cancer Diagnostic Pathway is designed to reduce patient anxiety as they and their families wait for a diagnosis - cancer or not. It will also reduce the risk of the cancer growing or spreading, and the risk of performance status declining, which could mean more patients being unfit for effective treatment.
The clinically-agreed national pathway sets out clear timeframes to achieve diagnosis by day 21 and commencement of treatment by day 42 – faster than current cancer waiting times standards.
NHS Boards were invited to bid gor funding from a £3 million Scottish Government investment in the Detect Cancer Earlier Programme to support implementation of the pathway.
Further information and resources
NHS Scotland staff can access the Optimal Lung Cancer Diagnostic Pathway Toolkit, to access examples of best practice to support implementation, by logging in to Turas Learn.