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A quarter of cancer patients experience avoidable delay to diagnosis

 

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A quarter of cancer patients experience avoidable delay to diagnosis

One in four cancer patients experienced a delay to their diagnosis that could have been avoided, according to a new study by Cancer Research UK.

The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology*, looked at data the national cancer registry of around 14,300 people diagnosed with cancer in England in one year.**

It found that nearly 3,400 patients experienced a delay that could have been avoided. Half of these patients waited around two months longer to be diagnosed compared with those who didn’t have an avoidable delay.

The reasons for delays are complex but researchers on this study attempted to identify what could go wrong. The study authors asked GPs to identify when the delay happened - before the patient saw their GP, while they were still being assessed by the GP practice or after they had referred them.