Middle-aged women are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer than older patients, suggest findings of a new analysis by Cancer Research UK.

Researchers looked at the records of around 34,000 lung cancer patients in England in 2013, and found that higher proportion of women aged between 50 and 64 were diagnosed at a late stage of lung cancer than those aged 65-69.

The findings echo previous research showing that older patients are more likely to receive an earlier diagnosis for certain cancers such as bladder and lung than their younger peers, but this is the first time this relationship has been explored using lung cancer data at a national level, the charity noted.

"Further analysis will focus on understanding this relationship to see if a similar pattern is present for other types of cancer," said David Kennedy, Cancer Research UK's data and research analyst.

"It's not clear exactly why younger patients are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, but what's important is that the disease is caught early…as it offers the best chance of successfully treating the disease," stressed Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK's head of health and patient information.

Around 45,500 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year.