Reducing emergency presentations of cancer patients remains a challenge, says cancer tsar

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 22 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4341
  1. Paul Dinsdale
  1. 1Rome

Late diagnosis and treatment of cancer in England remains one of the biggest challenges in reducing the 10 000 deaths that could be avoided if the country’s cancer treatment matched the best in European countries, the government’s cancer tsar has said.

Speaking at a conference on cancer treatment in Europe organised by the European Union and member states, Mike Richards said that his unit’s work was currently focusing on why so many patients were presenting as emergencies to cancer specialists and, as a result, had a reduced chance of recovery.

Around a quarter of new cancer cases are currently in people who present to doctors as “emergencies,” and the cancer tsar’s unit, set up as part of the national cancer plan, is studying the reasons why the figure is still so high.

“There is a big problem of …

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