Referral guidelines for cancer need closer scrutiny

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7300.1491/a (Published 16 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1491
  1. Jeffrey L Lancaster, specialist registrar in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery (jeffreylancaster@hotmail.com),
  2. I W Sherman, consultant otolaryngologist, head and neck surgeon
  1. Arrowe Park Hospital, Merseyside CH49 5PE

    EDITOR—The United Kingdom Department of Health's recently published specialty referral guidelines for suspected cancers are likely to add to the confusion of appropriate referrals for primary care physicians.1 Under guidelines for urgent referral to a chest physician falls the symptom of stridor.2 We think that this should be ignored. All patients with stridor should be referred to ear, nose, and throat physicians so that they can have a nasendoscopy within minutes of their arrival in the emergency ward. The …

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