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The Official Statistics: Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer

The National Cancer Intelligence Network recently published a study that revealed that 23% of all cancer cases in England are not spotted until patients are admitted to hospital for emergency treatment.

This study was compiled by looking at every cancer diagnosis made in England in 2007 and by examining  how the routes to diagnosis vary for different cancer types and by age, sex and deprivation. It also highlights the impact it has on one year survival rates of the condition. It revelaed that the elderly, the poor and people under 25 or over 75 were most at risk of a late diagnosis of the condition and likely to present as emergencies.

It also revelaed that one year survival rates were lower for those patients diagnosied through the emergency presentation route, such as being admitted to A&E or emergency referral from a GP.

This study sadly confirms what many people already know, that for many types of cancer early diagnosis can be life saving. By delaying diagnosis, patients treatment options may be affected as well as their quality of life being drastically reduced whilst living with terrible symptoms.

Therefore, we need to give GP better access to diagnostic tests and further investment is needed in the hope of reducing this risk.

Amy Bond is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch