Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

“No urgent referral for 60% of red flags”

Six out of 10 patients in England with “red flag” symptoms indicative of possible cancer didn’t receive an urgent referral for specialist assessment within two weeks, as recommended in clinical guidelines.

Nearly 4% of patients in the sample of 48,715 consultations were subsequently diagnosed with cancer within the next 12 months, new research shows.

Scientists used information on diagnoses, investigations, and treatment of general practice patients supplied to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink – a large database of routinely collected anonymised UK primary care health records.

The red flag symptoms are: swallowing difficulties; postmenopausal bleeding; iron deficiency anaemia; rectal bleeding; blood in the urine; a breast lump.

Overall, 40% of patients received an urgent referral within two weeks of seeing their GP. Of the patients who received an urgent referral, 10% were diagnosed with cancer within the year. Of the patients who didn’t receive an urgent referral the figure was 3.6%.

Image credit |Shutterstock

Related Articles

Transforming histopathology

Following a complete overhaul, one lab is on track to hit the 98% target for 10-day turnaround times by 2025. Quality, Training and Transformation Manager Paul Chenery talks through the ambitious journey.

Digital pathology: a white paper

A look at the new IBMS and Microsoft white paper Digital Pathology and Integrated Care Systems, which was launched in September.

"No improvements for colonoscopies with AI"

A randomised controlled trial found that colonoscopy assisted by computer-aided detection (CAD) was not associated with improved detection of advanced colorectal neoplasias.

The big question: IBMS Congress 2023

This month we ask “What makes Congress the ‘go-to’ event for you?”