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Posted on 25th April 2017

GPs regularly miss signs of cancer

In 2010 - 4,637 visited their hospital’s A&E department with signs of cancer and it was found in recent research that 41% (1,901 of the 4,637) had been to their own GP three times or more but were not diagnosed correctly with the disease.

The study also found that 71% of all patients diagnosed in their A&E departments had visited their own GP at least once and their symptoms had later been found to be cancer.

The study was performed by University College London researchers and their report showed 31% of patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer, 41% of patients with bowel cancer and 37% of patents with prostate cancer had visited their GP three times or more before being correctly diagnosed.

The study found that those patients diagnosed in A&E had worse prognosis than those who had been diagnosed earlier.

Judith Brodie, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer charity commented “It is concerning that the study shows 41% of bowel cancer patients who are diagnosed as emergencies had previously sought help from their GPs”, Judith goes on to comment “A bowel cancer patient’s chance of being successfully treated drops dramatically if they are not diagnosed until a late stage”


The statistics shown by this study clearly indicate that more must be done to identify and support the victims of cancer at an early stage because the misdiagnosis of cancer leads to a delay in treating the cancer. Any delay in diagnosing cancer has a knock on effect which could lead to the cancer being incurable.

Whilst GPs are trained in identifying cancer at its earliest stages cancer is misdiagnosed too frequently.

If your diagnosis of cancer had been delayed or misdiagnosed as a different condition or if your treatment of cancer has been delayed for whatever reason, contact us on 03303559210 or for a free claim assessment.