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'Inexcusable postcode lottery' of cancer care in England

Areas with the worst survival rates for cancer have been named and shamed by a charity after it said there is an "inexcusable" postcode lottery of care across England.

Macmillan Cancer Support said that there are wide regional variations in the proportion of patients who do not survive a year after diagnosis.

Debate rages over publicising GPs who spot cancer

The debate about whether GPs should be named and shamed if they repeatedly fail to spot the signs of cancer has divided opinion.

Rachel Bown who went to her doctor three times before eventually being diagnosed with a tumor said: "If GPs continually not diagnose, it's absolutely vital that they are publicised."

However, Dr. Chaan Nagpul said he feared the plan would push doctors into indiscriminately sending people for cancer tests. He said:

"The simplest thing for GPs to do would be to refer everyone with the faintest possibility of cancer to hospital. Now that would massively clog up clinics."

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Patient: Publicise GPs who misdiagnose cancer

A cancer patient whose GP failed to diagnose the disease three times told ITV News' she would support the naming and shaming of doctors who continually misdiagnose people.

Rachel Bown said: "I've been lucky that I was picked up on the third time when I look at a lot of my friends who have been much less lucky than I have and a lot have now died."

She added that it was absolutely vital to publicise GP's who continually misdiagnosed.

"I think anyone can make a mistake once or twice," she said, but if it was a continual thing she would "definitely support" naming doctors.

She added that patients need to be clearer about their symptoms. GP's have to be a lot more probing and the government needed to provide more funding.

GP: Don't blame doctors for not spotting cancer

Naming and shaming doctors for missing cancer symptoms is "not going to make any real difference," one GP told ITV News.

Dr. Chaan Nagpul said: "We mustn't get into the situation where we are blaming doctors for presentations that are difficult to diagnose."

He added: "If cancer was a simple condition to diagnose at an early stage it wouldn't be a killer disease. It's a killer disease because it does actually deceive the patient and deceive the doctor."

Were doctors names and would be worried that the system would quickly become clogged up as doctors began referring everyone who had the faintest possibility of cancer to hospital, he said.

He added: "It may reduce access for those patients to specialists to those patients who do have cancer."

Labour: Govt 'naming & shaming' cancer plan 'desperate'

The Government's plan of "naming and shaming" doctors who repeatedly fail to spot signs of cancer is "a desperate idea", Labour's shadow health minister said.

This is a desperate idea from a Government that won't take responsibility for the problems it has created in the NHS.

David Cameron wasted billions on a re-organisation nobody wanted and left cancer patients waiting longer for tests and treatment. He should be ashamed of his own record - not attacking doctors.

This Government has thrown away progress made on cancer care. It is proof of why the Tories can't be trusted with the NHS.

– Jamie Reed, Shadow Health Minister

GPs who fail to spot cancer to be given 'red flag'

GPs who repeatedly fail to spot cancer signs in their patients will be named and shamed on an NHS website.

Doctors will be marked with a red flag if they are deemed to be missing too many cases or patients have to make repeated visits before being sent for tests, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Doctors ho fail to spot cancer could be named and shamed. Credit: REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool

Luke O’Reilly, whose mother Diane Howell had to see a GP 15 times before being referred for tests, told the paper: "Rating family doctors on cancer is essential. My mum was made to feel she was wasting the doctors’ time when she was actually very ill."

Britain has worse cancer survival rates than other European countries, mainly due to late diagnosis.

"We know that 40 per cent of patients with pancreatic cancer have visit their GP four times or more before being referred. A tenth have to see them ten times or more," Ali Stunt, founder of Pancreatic Cancer Action, told the paper.

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GPs to be 'named and shamed' if failing to spot cancer

GPs face being named and shamed if they repeatedly fail to spot signs of cancer in their patients, it has been reported.

Doctors will be marked out with a red flag on an NHS website if they are deemed to be missing too many cases or patients have to make repeated visits before being referred for tests, according to the Mail on Sunday.

GPs who fail to spot cancer to be named and shamed as Health Secretary to reveal radical new policy to crack down on misdiagnosis Credit: PA

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said tough action must be taken to bring standards at practices with poor cancer referral rates into line with those who have the highest standards.

He told the newspaper: "Cancer diagnosis levels around the country vary significantly and we must do much more to improve both the level of diagnosis and to bring those GP practices with poor referral rates up to the standards of the best."

Breast scan 'still the best method' for detecting cancer

Mammograms are "still the best method" modern medicine has for early detection of breast cancer and giving patients the best chance of beating it, a health expert told Good Morning Britain.

Dr Sarah Rawlings from Breakthrough Breast Cancer urged women to continue to have regular checks, despite research suggesting mammograms only prevent one death in every 368 patients who are screened.

Breast cancer study examined 15 million 'person years'

Rearchers analysed more than 15 million "person years" and observed breast cancer deaths among 1,175 of the women who were diagnosed after receiving an invitation to screening and in 8,996 of the women who were not invited.

Breast cancer study examined 15 million 'person years' Credit: Daniel Karmann/DPA/Press Association Images

After adjusting for various factors they estimated that invitation to mammography screening was associated with a 28% reduced risk of death from breast cancer.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, boss of the charity Breast Cancer Campaign, said: "This study adds to existing evidence that confirms that breast screening saves lives. Diagnosing breast cancer quickly is vital, as the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances of survival."

"Women invited to screening in the Norwegian mammography screening programme were at a 28% lower risk of death from breast cancer than women who had not (yet) been invited," the authors wrote.

Study: Breast cancer screening reduces deaths by 28%

New research suggests breast cancer screening reduces the number of deaths from the disease by 28%. For every 368 women who are invited to have a mammogram, one death is prevented, the study claims.

Study: Breast cancer screening reduces deaths by 28%. Credit: AAP AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS/AAP/Press Association Images

The researchers from Norway set out to evaluate the effectiveness of modern mammography screening by comparing the effects on breast cancer mortality among screened and unscreened women.

The study, published on bmj.com, analysed data from all women in Norway aged 50 to 79 between 1986 and 2009 - the period in which the mammography screening programme was gradually rolled out across the country.

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