Study Focused On Lung, Bowel And Breast Cancer
Professor Mike Richards, National Cancer Director for England, has claimed that earlier diagnosis of cancer could save between 5,000 and 10,000 lives each year.
Professor Richards studied one-year survival rates for the three deadliest forms of the disease – lung, bowel and breast cancer. He found that about half of all the deaths could have been avoided if diagnosis was as good as in the best performing European countries.
The study found that “late diagnosis was almost certainly a major contributor to poor survival in England for all three cancers”.
Professor Richards says that the problem is being addressed through the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative. He added that “we’re working with people at a community level and with GPs to help them identify patients who could have cancer. On a wider scale the government is committed to improving GPs’ access to diagnostic tests.”
Adrian Budgen, a specialist in asbestos-related diseases at Irwin Mitchell said: “The National Mesothelioma Framework needs to be fully implemented – early diagnosis and referral to a specialist MDT are both hugely important in the management of the disease.”