Over 1,000 patients admitted to hospital with cancer in a year
ONE in five cancer patients in Middleton, Heywood and Rochdale are only diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital, figures show.
The survival rates of emergency admission are substantially worse than routine referrals as patients are more likely to have more advanced and difficult to treat cancers.
Cancer Research UK has called for more awareness, better training of GPs and increased resources for the NHS to help ensure more people are diagnosed early.
In the 12 months to March, 1,035 patients were admitted to hospital with cancer in the NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group area, according to data published by Public Health England.
Most will have been referred by their GP or other routes such as breast or cervical screening programmes. But 209 patients - 20.2 per cent - were classed as an ‘emergency presentation of cancer’, meaning they were first diagnosed at the hospital, after coming to A&E, for example, or while being treated for something else.
Fiona Osgun of Cancer Research UK said it was important for patients to see their GP if they noticed a change in their body.
“Your chances of survival can change so much if the cancer is diagnosed earlier or later”, she said.
“Generally, if the symptoms are severe enough to cause an emergency presentation, it is highly likely that the cancer is advanced.
“The treatments that we know give the best chance of cure like surgery are either harder to do or aren’t medically viable at stage three or four.
“So your treatment options are limited, and in some cases you’re not going to be treating the patient for a cure by that point, but treating them palliatively.”
According to the latest annual Cancer Patient Experience Survey, 13pc of cancer patients in the borough who went to their GP surgery with a cancerrelated health complaint before they were diagnosed said they saw their GP three or four times before being told to go to hospital. A further 4pc had five or more appointments.
According to the latest figures, covering April to June 2017, 51pc of patients diagnosed at the NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG had stage three or four cancer.
The average across England was 48pc.
There was also significant variation across the country for the proportion of emergency presentations, which ranged from 14pc to 26pc.
North Manchester General Hospital A&E