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One third of teenage cancer is diagnosed by A&E

15th October 2013

A report from the Teenage Cancer Trust shows 1 in three young people with cancer are diagnosed after presenting at A&E, with those aged 13-24 three times more likely to be diagnosed this way.

Of these young people, more than 25% had already visited their GP about their symptoms before being given a diagnosis at accident and emergency.

The Royal College of General Practitioners says cancer in young people is difficult to diagnose due to its rarity. Many symptoms that are presented are the same as other illnesses, or other common complaints such as headaches or tiredness in the morning.

The Teenage Cancer Trust agrees, saying the symptoms young people have are often be confused with other less harmful problems like infections, sports injuries and exam stress.

Siobhan Dunn, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, says: "We must improve the diagnostic experience of young people with cancer.

"We must empower young people to be persistent at the doctors if they're not getting better and not wait until they have to go to A&E."

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