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Catching cancer earlier is one of the most effective ways to improve survival. It means patients can receive treatment sooner, making it more likely the cancer can be cured.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets the ambition that, by 2028, 75% of people with cancer will be diagnosed at an early stage and a new briefing from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) takes a look at new research that could help achieve this goal.

This collection of evidence demonstrates ways research could improve early diagnosis of cancer, from work demonstrating that urgent GP referrals are linked to improved outcomes, to new tests that could be carried out in GP practices to improve risk determination.

The NIHR briefing brings together messages from research that has been highlighted in accessible summaries of evidence – NIHR Alerts – over the past year. Some studies address the needs of specific groups, others look at new approaches to screening.

Author of the NIHR briefing, Jemma Kwint, commented: “More people are surviving cancer than ever before, but even more lives could be saved by catching more cancers early, and research could help us do this.”

To see more resources about Cancer treatment in primary care, see our clinical resource on Cancer.




Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash.