Patients are receiving "insufficient" treatment for lung cancer through public healthcare services.
This is according to research published by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, which suggested that lung cancer survival rates have barely changed since the 1970s.
Commenting on the findings, Andrew Wilson-Webb, chief executive of the Rarer Cancers Forum, said that better diagnosis would help save lives.
"Everything really comes back to early diagnosis," he remarked.
"Early diagnosis will save lives right the way across the board. It needs more GP awareness, and GP education."
Earlier this month the National Cancer Intelligence Network revealed that half as many patients in England are receiving potentially lifesaving surgery for lunch cancer compared with the best countries in the world.
Just 14 per cent of men and women aged between 50 and 59 were found to have had surgery to treat the disease, while the figure falls further for older age groups.