With news that six people die of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma every day in England and Wales, this year’s flagship National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN) Conference had a timely focus on the aggressive lung cancer.
Mesothelioma is a terminal lung cancer caused in the vast majority of cases by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. The cancer develops between 10 and 50 years after exposure and in most cases it is fatal within 18 months of diagnosis.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in the past decade the number of deaths from mesothelioma has risen by nearly a third and the death rate is expected to peak in 2018.
The NLCFN Annual Conference, held in November in Solihull, was a dedicated two-day conference programme involving key opinion leaders and specialist practitioners in the lung cancer and mesothelioma field.
Victoria Roberts, a specialist asbestos solicitor with Birchall Blackburn Law, attended the conference and said: “With clinical speakers including Dr Mick Peake and Dr Ian Woolhouse, the event provided insight into the latest best practices and information. There is a lot of good work being done but there’s still a long way to go. The terrible lung cancer is devastating a hardworking generation of people and we suspect it will continue to do so well after the HSE’s predicted peak in two years’ time.”
Joanne Keen, from Birchall Blackburn Law and also a specialist asbestos solicitor, added: “We talk to mesothelioma sufferers and their families every week, and the news is always devastating. But attending this year’s NLCFN Conference does offer hope when you hear of the expertise, experience, commitment and passion of specialist lung cancer nurses, and the improving investment in mesothelioma research and clinical trials.”
This year’s conference – New horizons: The changing landscape of lung cancer management – provided a unique opportunity for NLCFN members to meet with colleagues, network and share information and best practice and learn all about the latest developments in the diagnosis and management of lung cancers and mesothelioma.
The NLCFN was established in 1999 to provide networking and support to nurses specialising in the care of people with lung cancer. Membership is open to any specialist nurse who spends more than 50% of their working week or clinical activities in caring for patients with lung cancer.