This startling statistic has emerged from a study by the National Cancer Intelligence Network [a network of health related bodies devoted to cancer including the NHS and cancer charities]. The number of patients whose first cancer diagnosis is in the Accident and Emergency department of a hospital actually increases for people over the age of 70.
The report also makes clear that these the level of A and E diagnoses vary significantly according to the age of the patient and the type of cancer [for example 58% of brain tumour victims are first diagnosed in A&E compared to just 3% of those with skin cancer]. Critically the survival rate for those who are first given their cancer diagnosis in A&E is much lower – hardly surprising because by that stage, the cancer is often far more advanced.
The survey admits that far more research is required and part of the reason may simply be that many people don’t want to visit their GP, leaving medical treatment until they really are quite poorly, but, from a patient point of view, it does raise a significant questions about the ability of many GPs to correctly identify cancer at an early stage. Whether it’s the incredibly brief time most people get in a GP appointment, or a simple lack of training, or simple medical negligence, the fact is that GPs are regularly failing to spot cancer at an early stage.
Whilst some of his GP failure is understandable, some is down to negligent doctors. If you are suffering from cancer which was mis-diagnosed or which a doctor failed to diagnose, or if one of your loved ones is in this situation, contact our medical negligence solicitors today – we specialise in cancer misdiagnosis.
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