Optimising Diagnosis of Symptomatic Cancer
Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer leads to significantly better outcomes. The Department of Health's Cancer Reform Strategy stressed the need to achieve earlier diagnosis.
This programme builds on ongoing work of the Evaluation, Research and Development Unit and seeks to improve diagnosis of cancer through six interlinked projects. It will consider the issue from the patients' aspect (why they do or do not attend surgery with a symptom) and the GPs' aspect (what is the risk of cancer when a symptom is mentioned?), and will examine what is the optimum method of organising investigations for suspected cancer. It will also look at wider systemic questions such as what are current referral patterns; what level of risk needs rapid investigation, and how can the system be improved, both from an economic and a societal perspective?
Throughout the research programme, there will be close working with those responsible for improving cancer services. Part of the role of the Evaluation, Research and Development Unit is to support evidence-based commissioning, including the improvement of care pathways and tackling health inequalities. Participants are delighted to have the chance to work in a field such as this, where findings directly impact upon clinical practice and health policy and where the benefits to patients are so immediately tangible.
Principal investigator: Professor Greg Rubin
Wolfson fellows: Professor Greg Rubin
Other Durham University researchers: to be appointed
Other organizations: Universities of Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and Cardiff; NHS Bristol
Funder: National Institute for Health Research
Dates: 2010 - 2015
Keywords: cancer; diagnosis; NHS; symptom; patient
Links: Wolfson Research Institute : All News - Durham University