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Decrease in proportion of cancer diagnosed in hospitals


11 November 2015

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There has been an increase in the proportion of cancers which are diagnosed through an urgent GP referral, and a decrease in the proportion diagnosed as an emergency in hospital, Public Health England (PHE) data released today revealed.

The complete Routes to Diagnosis data, which covers more than 2 million patients diagnosed with cancer from 2006 to 2013, has been published by Public Health England (PHE) today.

There has been an increase in the proportion of cancers which are diagnosed through an urgent GP referral, and a decrease in the proportion diagnosed as an emergency in hospital, Public Health England (PHE) data released today revealed.

The complete Routes to Diagnosis data, which covers more than 2 million patients diagnosed with cancer from 2006 to 2013, has been published by Public Health England (PHE) today.

In 2006, almost 25% of cancers, 1 in 4, were diagnosed as an emergency however in 2013, this figure had fallen to 20%, or one in five. This is against a rise in the overall cases of cancer.

Julia Verne, head of clinical epidemiology, PHE, said: “These improvements in routes to cancer diagnosis follow several years of work across the sector to improve early diagnosis in England and we encourage anyone with an interest, from patients, to charities, to clinicians, to look at the data.”

For a common cancer, like lung, the proportion diagnosed through the urgent GP referral route increased from 22% in 2006 to 28% in 2013, while the proportion diagnosed through emergency presentation fell each year, from 39% in 2006 down to 35% in 2013.

Verne added: “Our work however, is not complete; while emergency presentation is declining it still remains high for cancers like liver and pancreas.”

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