Research has been conducted at the University of Exeter and University College London
Patients with “red flag” cancer symptoms are not being referred by their GP for urgent investigation in six out of 10 cases, a new study claims.
The research found that a significant number of the patients who were not referred went on to develop cancer within a year of their GP consultation.
Early diagnosis of cancer is known to be a major factor in saving lives.
The study was led by the University of Exeter, working with University College London, and funded by Cancer Research UK.
Dr Gary Abel, who led the research, said: “Over the past decade we’ve made huge progress in improving life-saving cancer diagnosis in the UK, in part thanks to GPs.
“Our study showed that patients who are referred are much more likely to be diagnosed with cancer in the next year than those that are not referred, so GPs are clearly referring the highest risk patients appropriately.
“However, many patients did not receive an urgent referral within two weeks, contrary to guidelines.
“The number of patients who go on to be diagnosed with cancer when they are not urgently referred indicates that following the guidelines more strictly would have significant benefits.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub