Lung Cancer Report

Trials and tribulations of Irish lung cancer patients unveiled by new Marie Keating Foundation research 

Dublin, Friday May 31st 2019. The Marie Keating Foundation today unveiled incredible insights into the intimate experiences of Irish lung cancer patients. The study, carried out by IPSOS MRBI via qualitative research data and featuring in-depth interviews with Irish lung cancer patients, looks at key aspects of the patient journey including: symptom awareness, referral & diagnosis, experiences of treatment and living with Lung Cancer. 

The research, which was commissioned by the Marie Keating Foundation and supported by MSD Ireland, was launched at an event during Bloom at Dublin’s Phoenix Park earlier today, featuring key speakers which included:  

  • Jessica Grehan, Lung Cancer Patient and research participant
  • Frances Fitzgerald, TD and MEP Candidate 
  • Dr Abigail Collins, National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP)
  • Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation 

Entitled “Time, Toughness & Treatment” – Understanding the Experiences of People Living with Lung Cancer, this in-depth research was designed to explore the patient journey for stage three and stage four lung cancer patients, to better understand the reality of living with this disease in Ireland. Through the assessment of the emotional and physical effects of a positive diagnosis on patients, as well as the impact of treatments and the identification of unmet needs, system gaps and barriers to care, the research aims to better understand just how to address these challenges in the interest of Irish patients. 

The full research is available to view here

Approximately 2,600 Irish people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year and more Irish men and woman die from this disease than any other type of cancer [I]. In fact, the disease kills more people than colorectal cancer and breast cancer combined [II].

Speaking about the launch of the research, Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation, said: This is our 4th year at Bloom and we are delighted to be here again with our lung cancer ‘Breath of Life’ show garden. 

We undertook this important piece of research to ensure the patient voice is heard and that Ireland’s biggest cancer killer receives the attention it needs to help improve survival rates and build public awareness. I have described lung cancer as the ‘Cinderella’ of cancers in the past, with its poor five-year survival rates of just 18%. 

Lung cancer urgently needs more attention and public discussion to ensure people present earlier with symptoms, and better and improved treatment options continue to become available publicly. We would also urge the National Screening Service to seriously look at the merits of introducing a lung cancer screening service to improve early detection rates. 

This research shares intimate insights into the lung cancer patient journey and it’s important that we have access to more information on the trials and tribulations faced by our friends, loved one’s and relatives who may be suffering in silence, not only with their diagnosis but with the additional complications they can experience along the patient the journey”. 

Ger Brennan, Managing Director, MSD Ireland (Human Health) said: “Equal access to healthcare is a goal of all healthcare systems, however not all conditions are treated equally when it comes to awareness, early diagnosis, innovation or investment. One such condition is lung cancer. For the past two years, MSD Ireland have been very proud to support the ongoing work conducted by the Marie Keating Foundation to raise awareness about lung cancer and to support patients with this condition. This report represents a significant milestone in that partnership, aiming to give people with lung cancer a voice and to highlight their experiences, as well identifying ways we can better support patients and their families.”

The Marie Keating Foundation unveiled the research at an event today (Friday 31st May), during Bloom in the Park 2019 where their ‘Breath of Life’ garden is on display at this year’s festival. The show-garden features a four-meter high sculpture which reaches out over the garden, representing the lungs and the support that is needed for patients when they are on, or recovering from, a lung cancer journey. The garden is number 16 in the show-garden area which can be visited at Bloom 2019 until the 3rd of June. The event and show garden have also been supported by MSD. 

Details of any awards won by the garden? Pictures of the garden are also available here: 

The Marie Keating Foundation is also on the look-out for more personal stories and experiences from Irish patients, family members and loved ones. If you, a loved one or a family member has been impacted by lung cancer, the Marie Keating Foundation would love to hear from you. To share your personal story either publicly or confidentially, please reach out to one of our representatives for more information at jcimerman@mariekeating.ie