Too many cancer diagnoses are given in Accident and Emergency

Where do I go if I think I have cancer


Large percentage of people in UK find out they have cancer in Accident and Emergency department of a UK hospital. Cancer health services in UK need to improve. People in UK need to be made more aware of cancer prevention identification and treatment choices.

It is appalling that so many cancer patients are diagnosed through emergency admissions to Accident and Emergency Departments in UK hospitals.

People needed to be made more aware of the early signs of cancers and this increased knowledge could reduce emergency diagnoses.


If the UK public are more aware of the early symptoms of cancer the proportion of emergency presentations can be reduced and help relieve pressure on hospitals by reducing the need for hospital inpatients. More patients going to their GP and having cancer tests would be referred to hospitals as outpatients.

Around a fifth to a third of GP patients depending on type of cancer are given an emergency diagnosis in Accident and Emergency Department in a hospital having failed to go to their GP depending on whose figures you believe.

However GPs also need to up their game. Medical experts in UK have have found in recent reviews that many people diagnosed with cancer in Accident and Emergency Department of a hospital have been to their GP three or more times. Around a third of breast cancer patients in UK attended three or more GP appointments and 40 percent of those diagnosed with bowel cancer.

NHS England is working towards a new target called the Faster Diagnosis Standard FDS. The target is that you should not wait more than 28 days from referral to finding out whether you have cancer. The FDS will apply to those people who had an urgent referral to see a specialist through the 2 week urgent referral or the urgent screening programme pathway. The urgent screening programme pathway is when your doctor refers you for further urgent assessment. This is usually following an abnormal result. It is as part of one of the 3 screening programmes in England for breast cancer bowel cancer and cervical screening

Cancer Research UK

Britain has the worst cancer survival rates in western Europe and a lot of this is due to cancer being diagnosed late often after an emergency presentation.

The earlier an individual can get a diagnosis of cancer the better the prognosis and the options for treatment. When the first time their cancer is identified is when it becomes an emergency the prognosis is much worse.

Get a GP appointment if you are in any doubt about your medical symptoms. Even if it takes a couple of weeks to get a doctors appointment you are starting the process of finding out and the sooner you find out the better.

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Too many cancer diagnoses are given in Accident and Emergency

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