Speedier cancer tests planned28th September 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to tell the Labour Party conference that GPs will be given faster routes to tests to diagnose less obvious cancer cases.
Mr Brown will tell the conference that patients will be given important tests within a fortnight of visiting their GP.
A target already exists which says patients who are believed to have cancer by their doctor should be examined by a specialist within two weeks.
According to the Eurocare project, the UK falls below the European average for cancer survival rates.
Mr Brown will tell the conference that faster tests could mean a quicker diagnosis or let GPs exclude cancer when diagnosing a patient.
The target will initially concentrate on lung, ovarian and colorectal cancers, which are responsible for one third of deaths and are often diagnosed late.
Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "The two-week referral time for those patients where there is a high suspicion of cancer has made a major difference to patients and their GPs."
"But GPs would welcome the opportunity to refer patients directly for diagnostics such as MRI and CT scans, ultrasound and flexible sigmoidoscopy without having to refer to a specialist first."
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Title: Speedier cancer tests planned
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 12760
Date Added: 28th Sep 2009