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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.

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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.

Read: Study - Breast cancer screening reduces deaths by 28%

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.

DWP: Cancer charity's claims over PIP 'simplistic'

Claims by Macmillan Cancer Support that delayed assessments for a disability benefit have left at least 4,500 cancer patients waiting six months or more have been questioned by welfare officials.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the charity's survey results are "at best to be treated with extreme caution" because it involved only 210 patients.

Official statistics on waiting times are still being compiled.

Macmillan's report is based on a very small sample size using simplistic calculations to produce results, which at best should be treated with extreme caution.

Claims for terminally ill people are fast-tracked using 'special rules' under Personal Independence Payment and statistics show over 99% of people with terminal illnesses who have applied have been awarded the benefit. That means over 10,000 terminally ill claimants are now receiving PIP.

We have been working with Macmillan and they have acknowledged that improvements to the system have already been made.

PIP replaces the outdated Disability Living Allowance which was introduced over 20 years ago.

It includes a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews - something missing from the old system - to make sure support is better targeted at those who need it most.

– DWP spokesperson

More: Cancer patients 'made to wait 6 months for benefits'

50% of cancer patients 'dissatisfied' with PIP process

Almost half of cancer patients are unhappy with the process of obtaining the new Personal Independence Payment benefit.

Macmillan Cancer Support said their survey showed 47% of patients were dissatisfied with the process - a third because of the delays and almost a quarter (23%) because of "poor communication from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Cancer sufferers have criticised the Department for Work and Pensions over benefits delays. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Macmillan's head of policy Duleep Allirajah said: "Our report shows the real and shattering impact of these PIP delays are having on cancer patients.

"It is unacceptable that people struggle to heat their homes, are saddled with debt or are left anxious or depressed because they are waiting so long for their much-needed benefits."

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Cancer patients 'made to wait 6 months for benefits'

Benefits delays are leaving thousands of cancer patients forced to wait months to find out if they will receive help, a charity has found.

A survey from Macmillan Cancer Support found 4,500 cancer patients had been made to wait six months or more for a decision on whether they will get the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The charity said the poll had shown the "shattering" impact of the problems with the introduction of PIP, which has replaced Disability Living Allowance.

Charity: No one should wait three months to see GP

No one "should be waiting three months" to see a doctor about their possible cancer symptoms, Cancer Research UK said.

This research highlights how incredibly important it is that everyone is aware of the wide range of cancer symptoms, and has the confidence to tell their doctor.

The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival and it's essential that people report any symptoms promptly to their GP. No one should be waiting three months before booking an appointment.

– Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Reserach UK

Read: One in five cancer patients wait over three months before GP visit

Patients in 'deprived areas most likely to delay GP visit'

Cancer patients in "the most deprived areas are the most likely to delay" seeing a doctor about their symptoms, the co-director of the King's College London's Early Presentation Group said.

People in the most deprived areas 'are most likely to delay' seeing a doctor about their symptoms. Credit: Reuters

Dr Lindsay Forbes, lead author on the report, said: "This research highlights that we must do more to make sure the public recognises key symptoms of cancer like unexplained pain, unusual bleeding or weight loss, as well as a lump and make sure they get these checked out as soon as possible

"Although a worrying number of patients across society are waiting too long to go to their doctor, it is those in the most deprived areas that are most likely to delay."

The research found that almost half of prostate cancer patients and 37% of rectal cancer patients reported a delay of three months or more between first noticing the symptoms to going to see a doctor while only 8% of breast cancer patients waited this long.

Embarrassment, worrying about wasting a doctor's time and not realising their symptoms were serious were among the most common reasons for delay.

Read: One in five cancer patients wait over three months before GP visit

Study: 21% of cancer patients delayed doctor visit

One in five cancer patients wait over three months before visiting a doctor about their symptoms, a new study suggests.

Twenty one percent of cancer patients waited over three months before seeing a doctor. Credit: Reuters

Twenty one percent of patients in the study waited for at least 90 days before raising the issue with a medical professional.

Patients with prostate cancer and rectal cancer were most likely to delay while breast cancer patients were the least likely, according to the research published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Researchers surveyed 2,371 patients with 15 different cancers about the symptoms that had led to diagnosis.

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