Scientists from the University of Nottingham teamed up with ClinRisk Ltd to develop a new computer software that enables GP's to differentiate between gastro-esophageal cancer and lung cancer at an earlier stage by flagging up potentially worrying combinations of symptoms and risk factors.
Diagnosing lung cancer is very challenging as the symptoms are very common and non-specific. Red- flag symptoms include- coughing, coughing up blood, weight loss, appetite loss and anemia. There are 80% chances of missing the diagnosis if doctors concentrate on just one of these symptoms.
Vomiting blood, difficulty in swallowing, loss of appetite, weight loss and abdominal pain are red flag symptoms for gastro-esophageal cancer.Â Focusing on just one of these symptoms means doctors will miss up to 40% of cases.
However this software could speed up the diagnosis. Researchers believe that this tool could contribute towards the achievement of the government policy and the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative.
The research has been published in the British Journal of General Practice.