About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Cancer Risk Assessment Tools Used Less in General Practice

by Ramya Rachamanti on May 11, 2019 at 4:57 PM
Font : A-A+

Cancer Risk Assessment Tools Used Less in General Practice

Life-saving cancer risk assessment tools were found to be used less by general practices across the UK, according to new research.

A team of experts from the University of Exeter's Medical School has designed a set of risk assessment tools - which can predict the likelihood of undiagnosed cancer based on patients' symptoms, test results and other clinical information. Now, new NIHR-funded research has reviewed how well used the tools are within health practices.

Advertisement


In a survey of 476 GPs working in 277 general practices in the UK, the researchers discovered that the tools are only available for use in one-third of practices, although this should increase as the tools are integrated into more IT systems in the future. Crucially, the survey found that the tools are only likely to be used in around a half of those practices that have access.

This is important because, in the UK, one in three people in the UK will develop cancer during their lifetime. Although cancer survival rates in the UK have improved in the past 15 years, they still lag behind average European figures.
Advertisement

Earlier diagnosis is considered to be one of the main ways to improve UK survival; for example, more than 9 out of 10 people will survive bowel cancer if diagnosed at stage 1, as opposed to just 4 out of 10 when diagnosed at stage 4. This is where the risk assessment tools may play an important role - helping GPs to identify which patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of cancer should be referred for investigation according to national and local guidelines.

In response to their findings, the researchers have called for a new and sustained training drive for GPs, so that the tools are used habitually, and effectively.

The training should include the careful recording and coding of patients' symptoms, to maximise their potential in the early diagnosis of cancer, the team suggest.

The research is published in the British Journal of General Practice

Dr Sarah Price, a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School and lead author of the study said: "The tools are potentially a useful resource for GPs, helping them to assess which of their patients should be sent for testing because they might be harbouring an undiagnosed cancer. We need to carry out further research and work with GPs to find out how the tools can be integrated into the often time-pressured consultations between GPs and their patients."

Professor Willie Hamilton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, a practising GP and co-author of the survey added: "We know that some of the UK's poor cancer outcomes relate to delays in diagnosis. The study shows that there is much scope for cancer tools to be used more. We are launching a major trial of them in 530 practices in the second half of this year."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment Non-Communicable Diseases 

Recommended Reading
Colorectal Cancer Screening with Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is a widely used endoscopic procedure to screen individuals for colorectal cancer. It .....
Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases
Cigarette smoking, unhealthy diets, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity are some of the most...
Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant
What is dandelion? Dandelion greens are nutrition powerhouses with a wide range of health benefits. ...
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are promising drugs to treat a variety of cancers and the FDA has appro...
Non-Communicable Diseases
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a group of chronic non-infectious diseases which include Cardio...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use