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Focus on symptoms to improve early diagnosis, new cancer guidance says

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3399 (Published 23 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3399
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

Typical symptoms that GPs are likely to see in patients form the basis of new guidance on the diagnosis of cancer that experts believe will lead to earlier diagnosis and fewer deaths.

The new guidance from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) covers 37 cancers, took three years to develop, and was based on a detailed review of the evidence.1 It updates previous advice issued in 2005 that was ordered by cancer type.

Speaking at the launch of the guidance, Mark Baker, clinical practice director at NICE, said that earlier diagnosis was one of the areas where the NHS had made little progress during the 20 years of its cancer strategy. The new guideline was “a major plank” in tackling that and “uniquely presents the evidence in …

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