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More than 40% of cancer patients not seen by specialist in two weeks

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 03 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:500
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    More than 40% of patients who go on to receive a diagnosis of cancer are not having their referrals classed as “urgent” by their GPs, with the result that they are not being seen by a specialist within two weeks, a report from the National Audit Office says.

    In a survey in 2004 of 4000 patients in England with breast, lung, bowel, or prostate cancer—a repeat of a poll carried out in 2000—the watchdog body found that some types of patient are likely to be referred more quickly than others.

    Patients with breast cancer were seen the quickest, with 70% seeing a specialist within two weeks. …

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