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The report from the Kings Fund appears to confirm what has long been
suspected and states "that there is good evidence that English patients
are diagnosed at a later stage than in other countries." This drew the
comment "However, it could not explain why this was the case."
It is generally accepted that about one in three people are diagnosed
with cancer and about one in four die as a result. It is probably the most
feared diagnosis in the mind of the general public and is reflected by the
interest in cancer displayed by the daily press.
For many years I have observed the subject matter covered by the post
-graduate teaching / refresher programs arranged by the Royal College of
Physicians, as published in its journal. I have been consistently
surprised and disappointed to find that cancer related matters rarely
exceed 5 percent of the subject matter covered and in some programs are
notable only for their complete absence. This begs the question whether it
is possible that this disproportionately low level of interest in cancer
by such a highly respected and influential institution, has so permeated
much of the country's medical profession that it unwittingly contributes
to delayed diagnosis.