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Chris Evans undergoing tests for prostate cancer

Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans has told listeners he is "in the middle of the tests" for prostate cancer.

Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The presenter talked about it after former Small Faces and The Who drummer Kenney Jones, who himself survived prostate cancer, appeared on his breakfast show in support of a charity campaign.

Evans told listeners: "I've got to say I'm in the middle of a prostate issue right now."

He said he had gone to see a doctor after he couldn't stop peeing, and that he scared himself "half to death" when he researched the subject on the internet.

Evans said he used to be "scared" of medical tests but added he had "completely changed my tune on this the last couple of years".

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DoH: £50m invested in early cancer diagnosis

Department of Health officials have said that £50m has been invested in early cancer diagnosis in the wake of a investigation into GPS referring patients.

We have already invested #450 million in early diagnosis of cancer, and, as the Office for National Statistics says, survival rates are at record highs.

Direct GP access to diagnostic tests is one pathway that helps with this, but there has also been a 50% increase in GPs' use of the urgent suspected cancer referral pathway over the last four years.

GPs directly requested over a quarter of all tests that may have been used to diagnose cancer in June 2014 and we delivered a record 1.6 million diagnostic tests in July 2014, compared with 1.2 million in April 2010.

– Department of Health (DoH) spokesman

GP's 'prevented' from directly referring cancer patients

An investigation has found that half of GPs are prevented from directly referring suspected bowel or brain cancer patients for scans.

Patients face a "postcode lottery" of services due to restrictions imposed by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), according to GP magazine, which carried out the study.

GP's 'prevented' from directly referring cancer patients. Credit: PA

Freedom of Information (FOI) responses from 182 CCGs, which organise the delivery of NHS services in England, found 49% barred GPs from directly accessing MRI scans for suspected brain cancer patients.

Meanwhile, 50% of CCGs said they did not commission direct access to flexible sigmoidoscopy tests in cases of suspected bowel cancer, the study found.

Health chief: 'Not always easy for GPs to spot cancer'

It is "not always easy for GPs to spot cancer" a health expert has warned as fresh guidelines are put forward to help doctors spot cancer early on.

Clinical practice director of Nice - who are behind the updated recommendations - Professor Mark Baker, warned there were hundreds of different types of cancer making it "unrealistic" to always expect a diagnosis early.

There are more than 200 different types of the disease so it is unrealistic to expect them to know every single sign and symptom of each one, especially when they only see a handful of new cases a year.

Research carried out in general practice in recent years gives us better evidence about which signs and symptoms best predict cancer, and all this is captured in our draft updated guidance.

We are updating our guideline to make things as simple as possible for GPs to consider the possibility of cancer and refer people to the right service at the right time. Early referral and diagnosis can help save lives.

– Professor Mark Baker

Guidelines provide 'clear recommendations for tests'

New NHS guidelines for spotting cancer early will include clear recommendations for tests and waiting times for specialists referrals, health experts have revealed.

Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) will have:

  • How long people should wait to be seen by a specialist once they have been referred to hospital.
  • They range from two weeks to 48 hours or sooner, depending on the patient's symptoms.
  • New recommendations about "safety netting" will also advise GPs how and when to review people with a symptom associated with a risk of cancer but who do not meet the usual criteria for referral, to ensure cancer is not missed.
  • Nice will also update its information for the public to help people identify possible signs of cancer and encourage them to visit their GP sooner.

The updated guidance is expected to be published in May 2015 following a consultation.

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