Nearly Half Of Cancer Diagnosis ‘At An Advanced Stage’

Cancer Research UK Report Raises Concerns

22.09.2014

New research from Cancer Research UK has suggested that 46 per cent of cancers in England are only diagnosed at an advanced stage, raising concerns that many patients are not getting specialist treatment early enough.

The Incisive Health report found that if all areas of the country diagnosed four types of cancer alone as early as high-performing locations in the country, this could lead to potential treatment cost savings of £44 million each year.

When such figures are then widened to all types, it is estimated this would lead to an annual saving of £210 million and improve the survival prospects of more than 52,000 patients.

The study found that, through a comparison of high and low performing areas, there was a threefold variation in when bowel cancer patients were diagnosed with the condition. In addition, variations in lung cancer and ovarian cancer were fourfold and fivefold respectively.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: “Diagnosing cancer at its earliest stages is crucial to give patients the best chance of survival.”

Expert Opinion
The study from Cancer Research UK has put an interesting spotlight on when cancers are diagnosed, as well as the clear variations which emerge across different parts of England.

"Our work on behalf of patients who have suffered as a result of misdiagnosis or a failure by medical professionals to diagnose conditions when they should have means we understand the huge emotional impact this can have on both patients and their loved ones.

"It is clear from the findings that there remains much to consider when it comes to cancer treatment, specifically what can be done to ensure that patients across the country get the same high level of support regardless of where they live and what steps can be taken to improve the early diagnosis of many forms of the condition."
Lisa Jordan, Partner