26 August 2014

RCGP Response to Public Health England Figures on Cancer Survival Rates

The RCGP has responded to Public Health England figures that show an increase in the number of patients surviving for at least one year after being diagnosed with cancer.

Dr Richard Roope, Cancer Lead for the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), said: “These figures are an indication of the excellent efforts made by GPs – and health professionals right across the NHS – to identify cancer at the earliest possible opportunity and to raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms amongst our patients.  These findings are testament to recent Be Clear On Cancer campaigns and the increasing primary care engagement undertaken by GP Cancer Leads.

“The first audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care in 2011 found that over 70% of patients were referred to a specialist after one or two consultations and that nearly 60 per cent of all patients referred attended secondary care within two weeks. This announcement shows that GPs have continued to do a great job in delivering the highest possible quality care for our patients with cancer, despite the fall in primary care funding.

“The average full time GP will only see approximately eight new cases of cancer in approximately 8000 patient consultations that they conduct every year. With this being such a relatively rare occurrence, we are constantly working hard to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer at every stage of their condition and we recognise that there is always more we can do.

“The RCGP has identified cancer as its first ‘enduring’ priority to look at how GPs can advance their understanding of cancer, and help our patients reduce their risk of getting cancer, with 40% of cancer cases being related to lifestyle and improve GPs’ diagnostic skills, enabling them to refer the right patients to the right place at the right time”

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659



The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 49,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.