Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
07 November 2013 09:36
New software could help GPs spot cancer signs in patients
Family doctors could be alerted when they should send patients for cancer tests - according to researchers - thanks to a new computer program presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference.
The Cancer Decision Support software can determine risk of certain cancer types based on symptoms, said researchers at the Liverpool event.
The software can tell the risk carried by a single symptom such as a persistent cough and can also alert GPs when it spots a combination of symptoms.
The program detects a risk of oesophageal cancer if a patient complains of nausea and returns three weeks later with trouble swallowing, and compares symptoms with other factors such as a smoking habit or the patient being an ex-smoker.
Researchers claim it can estimate risk for oesophago-gastric, lung, colorectal, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
The researchers have designed a system that GPs could use alongside their notes to give extra information, said Professor Willie Hamilton from the University of Exeter - one of the researchers upon whose work the tool is based.
"When you've only got around 10 minutes with each patient, it's vital that you ask the right questions and are able to quickly calculate someone's risk in order to facilitate an early referral," said Dr Rosie Loftus, lead GP adviser at Macmillan Cancer Support.
Dr Loftus said Macmillan hopes the tool will help GPs identify symptoms and help improve survival rates. The researchers hope the software can eventually be available to all GPs.
The technology is still being tested, but people eventually diagnosed with cancer first identified by it should arrange
travel insurance for cancer patients before heading off on holiday.
Macmillan led the work with part-funding from the Department of Health.
22 March 2017
Mountaineers looking to scale the world's highest peak may need to shell out for a GPS device, according to Nepal's tourism chief.
21 March 2017
The effects of being in skyscrapers, at concerts or even walking on wobbly bridges could help scientists understand the experiences of dementia sufferers, researchers are claiming.
18 March 2017
A young actor has released pictures of a lump on her throat that turned out to be thyroid cancer, with hopes the image will raise awareness and alert others who may be suffering from the disease.
17 March 2017
A "promising treatment" for aggressive blood cancer needs more evidence of its effectiveness before NHS doctors will be able to prescribe, a watchdog is warning.
16 March 2017
Millions of Brits are opting for coach holidays over jet-setting and cruises, new research indicates.
15 March 2017
Thousands of flights to and from America's north east have been cancelled in preparation for a "life-threatening" storm poised to hit the country.
14 March 2017
Seniors who experience weight loss should not put it down to the normal ageing process, experts are warning.
11 March 2017
Gatwick Airport is insisting it is still a "credible and deliverable" expansion option, as the airport experienced its busiest ever February.
08 March 2017
Strikes by French air traffic controllers (ATCs) are leading to delays and cancellations across the UK.
10 March 2017
Waiting times for kidney transplant patients have fallen significantly, health officials have said.
09 March 2017
A Dutch snowboarder has been fatally injured in the second avalanche to hit the French Alps in 24 hours.
07 March 2017
The risk of developing a deadly form of breast cancer can be cut by 40% by following a Mediterranean diet, new research has found.