New strategy in cancer treatment can save lives
According to the latest information, 5.000 lives can be saved, in England, each year, if GPs follow new guidelines in the diagnosis of cancer. GPs should order certain tests and speed up the treatment. Charities say that they are supporting these guidelines, but they require more funds. Doctors agree that when they diagnose cancer sooner, the treatment is more effective. According to NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) many people die every year, because their tumors are diagnosed too late.
These, new guidelines, should encourage GPs to start thinking about cancer soon. They are related to first symptoms. Now, doctors consider which type of cancer a patient may have, and then they compare it to a patient’s symptoms. They also should order certain tests immediately, before a specialist require them. This means that GPs will be able to perform CT scans and endoscopies, without a specialist recommendation.
NICE believes that this can start the cancer treatment sooner and save thousands of lives. They also advice that people should require medical assistance as soon they notice some cancer symptoms. They also recommend that doctors don’t miss difficult cases. For example, patients with cancer symptoms, when symptoms do not suggest cancer, should be tested for this disease.
Professor Mark Baker said that this new policy should help many people. He estimates that this strategy, will save 5.000 lives each year. According to European cancer statistics, Britain has lagged behind several other countries. The Royal College of GPs has agreed that these guidelines are effective. However, they say that there may be problems with the capacity to do these checks and tests.