25 November 2011
Macmillan Cancer Support Response to RCGP Report
Responding to Royal College of General Practitioners’ report about waiting times for cancer diagnostic tests from GPs, Mike Hobday, Director of Policy and research, Macmillan Cancer Support said:
'Overall it is encouraging that the majority of patients visiting their GP are being referred to a specialist after only one or two consultations.
'However, there are still far too many people who are visiting their GP five times or more before being sent for diagnostic tests. This is not good enough.
'Early diagnosis can make a real difference cancer survival. It is therefore no surprise that most of the cancers where over 20% of patients had three or more consultations, were highlighted in our recent report as having the lowest median survival times*.
'We are working with our Macmillan GPs and others to trial some easy to use symptom toolkits to help make better progress in earlier diagnosis.'
Lorraine, 42, Lincolnshire said:
‘My husband was just 41 when he died from pancreatic cancer this September, just a few months after eventually getting a diagnosis. He’d been suffering terrible sweats, severe abdominal pains, and diarrhoea for quite a while so he went to his GP. He was told it was just gastric problems. But his symptoms worsened and each time he went back they told him the same. I looked up his symptoms on the internet and came up with pancreatic cancer so if I could find that, I don’t understand how the professionals couldn’t. He had to collapse before he was investigated.’
*myeloma, ovary, pancreas and stomach cancers
For further information, please contact:
Andrea Shufflebotham, Media & PR Officer
020 7840 4689
About Macmillan Cancer Support:
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. More than one in three of us get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.