Intended for healthcare professionals


GPs spot 80% of cancers within two consultations, audit shows

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 07 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f772
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

GPs refer more than three quarters of people who go on to receive a diagnosis of cancer after only one or two consultations, shows an audit of cancer diagnosis in England. The audit concludes that the number of consultations is a useful indicator of the time interval between a patient presenting with cancer symptoms and being referred to see a specialist.1

But the results show that GPs have more consultations with patients who have cancers with non-specific symptoms, including multiple myeloma and stomach and lung cancer, typically seeing them at least three times before referring them to a specialist.

The …

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