Over 1,400 lives could be saved every year – four more every day – if more cancers were diagnosed through GP referral instead of emergency hospital admissions, according to a new study led by City, University of London and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Cancers diagnosed following a GP referral are more likely to have been spotted early, meaning patients have a better chance of surviving or living longer with their disease.
Examining over 370,000 people from England’s National Cancer Registry with the four most common types of cancer (breast, bowel, prostate and lung cancer), it was also seen that a shift from emergency cancer diagnosis towards GP referral, in line with the best performing areas in England, would come at a small additional cost to the NHS. The study is published in BMC Cancer.
The researchers from City, Imperial College London, University of Palermo and Social Research Division, Dublin found that the estimated cost of such a shift was an average of £2,130 per year of life saved, or just £6 per day for the four cancersv.
This is due partly to the fact that patients who survive go on to require more long-term follow up care from
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