Over 1,000 pa­tients ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal with can­cer in a year

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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