New global survey shows public perceptions of lung cancer

Image of white lungs on green background to show Support builds for lung cancer screening in Scotland

New global survey shows public perceptions of lung cancer and also highlights that people believe that prognoses for the disease are dire, and there is a demand for change in the detection of lung cancer.

Only one in five people (22%) disagree with the statement “generally, patients with lung cancer have caused their illness through their lifestyle choices and behaviors,” according to a global, omnibus survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and sponsored by the Lung Ambition Alliance.

Lung cancer is a disease still associated with stigma. The stigma is problematic and could influence smokers to feel guilty and delay talking to their doctor about potential symptoms.

Additional results of the study show:

The majority of people (59%) are confident that in five years’ time a significantly higher proportion of those diagnosed with lung cancer will be cured compared to now. But the truth is that today, approximately only one in five people are alive five years after initial diagnosis; despite recent progresses on the positive role of early detection and new treatments, there is still a long way to go to significantly improve survival. Now is time to intensify the effort against lung cancer and push for new solutions that can delay disease progression.

Almost nine in 10 people (87%) are in favor of implementing a national program in their country to increase the detection of lung cancer in the early stages. Among them, nearly two in three (62%) declared that they are “strongly” in favor of it. But the truth is, globally, many countries have not yet adopted lung cancer screening despite evidence suggesting that lung cancer screening saves lives. 40% of people are diagnosed after their disease has spread beyond the lung, reducing the potential for treatment with curative intent. Now is time to consider diagnostic testing as a key priority for those at risk of lung cancer and favor the adoption of guidelines that can help increase screening rates.