“Can earlier symptomatic diagnosis improve cancer outcomes in Wales”

A report prepared for Public Health Wales by Bangor University makes recommendations for improving cancer outcomes in Wales.

The report, “Can earlier  symptomatic diagnosis improve cancer outcomes in Wales” is written by Professor Richard Neal of the University’s North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research  has been launched at a Conference in Manchester (14 June): Cancer Data and Outcomes Conference 2016: Using data to drive services. Professor Neal is a general practitioner and a leading authority on improving GPs cancer detection rates.

His report is based on a review of existing research.

Professor Nichola Callow, Dean of the College of Health & Behavioural Sciences said:

“This report is the latest example of the vital contribution to healthcare in Wales and beyond that research from the Bangor Institute of Health and Medical Research is making. BiHMR will continue to build capacity and foster research collaborations in Bangor that focus on a number of health challenges that society currently faces including Cancer, Dementia and Rehabilitation.”

Prof Neal’s repost makes the following recommendations:

Recommendations for Welsh Government

To make the early diagnosis of cancer a governmental priority. One way of doing this would be to support the development and activity of a Welsh Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (WAEDI), or similar.

To consider adopting a similar approach in Wales to that developed in Denmark for the assessment of patients with symptoms.

To support ongoing and future initiatives aimed at increasing cancer awareness, for all cancer types in Wales.

To support the participation of Wales in modules of Phase 2 of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership

Recommendations for Health Boards

To support ongoing and future initiatives aimed at increasing cancer awareness, for all cancer types in Wales.

To fully engage primary care staff with issues regarding cancer diagnosis through primary care, and provide resource for timely diagnosis.

To provide wider and faster access for diagnostic investigations and specialist opinion from primary care.

To streamline diagnostic pathways for all patients with potential symptoms of cancer (whether ‘Urgent Suspected Cancer’ or otherwise).

Recommendations for Research

To seek further funding for proposals regarding the public awareness of cancer symptoms in Wales.

To seek further funding for proposals to expedite and maximise the efficiency of cancer diagnosis through primary care in Wales.

To seek funding for proposals aimed specifically at the ‘harder to diagnose’ cancers and those cancer types with a higher incidence and poorer outcomes in Wales (for example, lung, brain, myeloma, upper gastro-intestinal).

To seek funding for a proposal that aims to fully evaluate the health economics of earlier cancer diagnosis in Wales. 

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Publication date: 15 June 2016