Research News

GP cancer referral delays may explain UK’s low cancer survival rates

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2926 (Published 28 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2926
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Lower cancer survival rates in the United Kingdom than in other similar countries could be due to delays in general practitioners referring patients for tests, claims a new study published in BMJ Open.1

However, GP representatives have said that British GPs are getting better at spotting possible cancer symptoms more quickly and taking action but that they need more resources to continue doing so.

Considerable differences in cancer survival rates have been noted between countries with similar health systems, and poor outcomes could be caused by late presentation of cases, diagnostic delays, and differences in treatment, or combinations of these, the report said. Cancer survival is relatively high in Australia, Canada, and Sweden, intermediate in Norway, and …

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