A Quarter of Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed For the First Time in A&E

Recent reports suggest that almost a quarter of cancer patients are diagnosed for the first time in A & E departments and most of those patients die within weeks.  The proportion is even higher (one third) among the elderly.

The study by the National Cancer Intelligence Network and published in the British Journal of Cancer, raises serious concerns about failings in care, particularly of older patients, in the community.  Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer is crucial and helps improve a patient's chance of survival. 

The reasons for these failings are unclear, it may be that older people are more reluctant to consult their GP with possible cancer symptoms or they may be dismissed as 'just the usual aches and pains that come with old age', or by the time they are referred their condition may have progressed rapidly.  Whatever the reasons, early diagnosis is crucial.

Lanyon Bowdler has acted in cases where the standard of care leading to late diagnosis has fallen well below the accepted level, resulting in a poor outcome for the patient.  If you have any questions with regard to the issues raised please do not hesitate to call the Clinical Negligence team at Lanyon Bowdler on 01743 280280.