The NHS is not offering patients life-saving surgery for lung cancer, it has been reported.
Only half as many patients in England are receiving the treatment compared to the best countries in the world, the figures from the National Cancer Intelligence Network revealed.
Indeed, only nine per cent of lung cancer patients were given surgery on the NHS between 2004 and 2006.
Dr Mick Peake, consultant chest physician at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, said: "Not all lung cancer patients will be eligible for surgery as this depends on the stage of their cancer or whether they have any other diseases.
"However these data still show that only half compared to the best in the world are having this potentially life-saving treatment."
He added that this "may be a major reason why the long-term survival figures for patients with lung cancer in England are not as good as they could be".