Will self referral for cancer tests result in better mortality outcomes or yet more activity among the worried well?BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h562 (Published 05 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h562
- Kit Byatt, consultant general physician and geriatrician1
- 1Wye Valley NHS Trust, Hereford HR1 2ER, UK
I heard the news about self referral for cancer tests on the radio, and my heart sank. Having read your detailed account,1 I am not reassured.
A key problem is confusing the three related, but very different, concepts: survival, disease specific mortality, and overall mortality. Conflate these with changing the paradigm from investigating relevant symptoms after initial assessment by a clinician (the acknowledged world …