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NICE call for specialist teams for neglected cancer

27th July 2010

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said special teams should be put in place to help patients with "cancer of unknown primary".

fightingcancer

NICE stated that the cancer was "very neglected" despite more than 10,000 patients being diagnosed with it every year in England and Wales.

The organisation said there was a lack of knowledge about cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

NICE said that care for patients with CUP should be restructured in order to address current problems with treating the condition.

It said that special CUP teams should be set up in every hospital with an oncology unit and patients should be seen by a specialist nurse to make sure they are given data and support.

NICE also said CUP outpatients should be seen by the team within a fortnight, while inpatients should be given an assessment "by the end of the next day" after they were referred.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE clinical and public health director, said: "This is a very neglected type of cancer - patients generally have a poor prognosis and little is known about which types of treatment work best for them."

"They also tend to miss out on medical and other benefits that are given to patients with a specific type of cancer."

 

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