Lifestyle cancer risks

Have you ever thought about lifestyle cancer risks referral times and how they could affect you? There are many types of cancer and some are more easily detected. However, the most important aspect about cancer is getting early detection and treatment. If you should have to wait for a referral to cancer specialists, it is possible that patients are not getting the earliest cancer detection possible.

Out of 41,299 patients with cancer from England, a total of 77% visited their general practitioners and had been referred to specialists for cancer after only one to two visits. This indicates the majority of patients are seen and referred at a fairly quick rate.

However, according to the 2010 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey taken in England, the numbers indicate that one-quarter of patients had to be seen by their general practitioner for a minimum of three visits before receiving a referral to cancer specialists. In essence, three visits versus one visit seems much too long with anything as serious as cancer.

Women, ethnic minorities and young people are among the small group of patients that fit into lifestyle cancer risks categories, which may place them at higher risk. It is more unusual to discover cancer in young people than older people and therefore, more visits to a GP are likely for young people to make a proper diagnosis.

Because some cancers are more easily detected, patients maybe referred to specialists faster depending upon the type of cancer. Data reflects that in a few instances, some women with more easily diagnosed cancers are referred quicker than men, but in most cases, women did have more visits to the GP before receiving a referral. Men did have fewer visits to their GP before being referred. Dr Lyratzopoulos from Cambridge University states, "Those from ethnic minorities were also less likely to be referred quickly than white patients."

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