Diagnosing cancer quicker – support for GPS published
New guidance was issued today to help GPs diagnose cancer quicker.
The National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidelines for the diagnosis of 37 cancers, including several blood cancers – leukaemia, Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma. You may have seen coverage in the media today.
For leukaemia, this was an update of existing guidance, whereas for lymphoma and myeloma, this represents the publishing of diagnosis guidance for GPs for the first time.
The new guidance encourages GPs to look for a number of specific symptoms, and also clusters of symptoms such as fever, night sweats and weight loss, which will hopefully lead to earlier diagnosis for many patients. The updated guidelines for blood cancer are on NICE’s website.
We know for some blood cancers, many patients are still diagnosed too late. Many blood cancers are rare, and have very generic symptoms. These factors can make them very hard to spot, so any support for health professionals in making an accurate and timely diagnosis is great news for patients.