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One in three cases of cancer in patients over 70 are diagnosed at emergency admission

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6402 (Published 21 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6402
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Nearly one in four cases of cancer in England (24%)—around 58 400 a year—are diagnosed when patients are admitted to hospital as emergencies, a study has found. This figure rises with age to more than a third (31%) of cancers in people over 70: 38 500 cases.

The study by the National Cancer Intelligence Network traced the experiences of nearly three quarters of a million English patients who were given cancer diagnoses (739 667) between 2006 and 2008 to find out how their illness was diagnosed.1

It found that the proportion of cancer cases diagnosed after emergency admission varied widely by cancer type. Cancers of the brain and central …

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