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Cancer diagnosis variation ‘unacceptable’

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Following a study carried out between 2012 and 2013 by Cancer Research UK, it is claimed that around 20,000 cases of cancer could have been detected earlier if cancer care was as good as the best demonstrated practice in England.  They described the “unacceptable variations” as causing concern throughout the regions, with the worst area for early diagnosis being Merseyside where half of all cancers detected were discovered in the late stages.

Areas in the south of England, such as Bath, Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire were found to be the most successful at diagnosing cancer in the early stages, with around 60% of cases being discovered early.  57% of cases were caught early in the areas covering The Isles of Scilly, Devon and Cornwall.

In contrast, Greater Manchester and Durham, Darlington and Tees came a close second to Merseyside in diagnosing late.

“not referring patients for diagnostic tests promptly”

Late diagnosis has a considerable affect on the patient’s chance for recovery.  Cancers patients caught in the first and second stages are 80% more likely to live a further 10 years and compared with 25% if caught in the third and fourth stage for the eight most common cancers.

Cancer Research UK’s Jody Moffat has stated that “These might include patients not going to their doctor as early as they could with possible cancer symptoms, and GPs sometimes failing to suspect cancer or not referring patients for diagnostic tests promptly.”   The organisation is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis, encouraging people to pay more attention to their bodies.  It has pledged to make a target of 4 weeks from referral in an attempt to save more lives.

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us.


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