The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended that GPs should be able to order certain tests directly for patients displaying possible cancer symptoms instead of having to refer to a specialist first. The tests include MRI and CT scans, endoscopies and colonoscopies.
As well as more direct access to tests, the guidelines also include advice to patients themselves on spotting the signs of cancer to help them present to their GP earlier.
10,000 late cancer diagnoses a year
300,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year; an estimated 10,000 of these are classed as late diagnoses. It is widely agreed by health specialists that the sooner a person’s cancer is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment and the better their survival rate.
New guidelines could save 5,000 lives a year
Experts have estimated that the new guidelines could save up to 5,000 lives a year. However, whilst the initiative has been welcomed, both doctors’ groups and cancer organisations have highlighted that adequate financial investment in it is vital if it is to work in practice.
Commenting on the announcement, Gillian Gadsby, specialist medical negligence solicitor at Gadsby Wicks said: “It is tragic for people when they are faced with an outcome that could have been so different, had their symptoms been investigated more quickly. Therefore, any move that helps patients get faster access to tests is a positive step.”
If your or a loved one have suffered because of a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer, our specialist medical negligence lawyers may be able to help you make a claim for compensation. Please contact us in confidence and free of charge on 0800 321 3112 or email us here to make an enquiry.
Please see here for case studies involving some of the patients we have helped following their late cancer diagnosis.
For further information on how to spot the signs of cancer, please visit:Posted 29th June 2015 | Posted in News,Uncategorised