Doctors Urged To Carry Out Further Tests To Resolve Patients’ Symptoms
Doctors are being urged to ensure patients’ concerns are taken seriously after medical negligence lawyers reported an increase surrounding delays in diagnosing cancer cases.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office have advised doctors to carry out further tests to establish if a person has the disease where original investigations of symptoms remain unexplained.
It comes after the head of the NHS said that early diagnosis of cancer made a ‘staggering’ difference to survival rates.
Simon Stevens said improving the speed at which cases were diagnosed was the biggest challenge the NHS faced.
He added that earlier diagnosis would save lives as well as money, reducing the use of the most expensive treatments.
Speaking recently at the War on Cancer conference in London, Mr Stevens said that nine out of ten patients diagnosed at stage one or two of the disease would still be alive five years later. However, just one in 20 people would survive if their cancer was diagnosed after this.
The NHS also intends to expand the number of mobile cancer screening schemes, such as home testing kits for bowel cancer and scanners in car parks to diagnose lung cancer.
Julie Lewis is regional managing partner of Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office.
Expert OpinionOur clients’ experiences show how crucial it is that cancer is diagnosed as early as possible, as the consequences of a delayed diagnosis can be devastating. In particular, we are seeing a trend for delayed diagnoses in gynaecological cancers; the impacts can be far-reaching and it is essential that women’s complaints are taken seriously at an early stage.
“It is unacceptable for their symptoms to be dismissed as simply hormonal or for women to be told that they are simply “too young” to have cancer. Cancer doesn’t discriminate by age and it is imperative that doctors consider further investigations where patients’ symptoms remain unresolved or unexplained.” Julie Lewis - Partner
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