25 September 2012

RCGP Response to Study from National Cancer Intelligence Network

"Patients, whatever their age, should never be afraid of raising concerns about cancer with their GP.

"GPs make an important contribution to saving lives from cancer, including prompt referral of patients who need specialist assessment. The RCGP’s very first audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care published last year revealed that over 70% of patients visiting their GP were referred to a specialist after one or two consultations and nearly 60 per cent of all patients referred attended secondary care within two weeks.

"But there are some patients where we do, for various reasons, have difficulty in making a diagnosis and we must always be looking at how we can do better and do more. There is no doubt that giving GPs greater and improved access to cancer tests would be a major step forward.

"The College has identified cancer as its first ‘enduring’ priority to look at how we can help GPs build upon their existing skills to diagnose cancer earlier and provide the best possible quality of care to patients who have cancer. A major strand of this work has been the appointment of Professor Greg Rubin, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, as our first dedicated Clinical Champion for Cancer.