Wait to see cancer specialist

08 November 2016 08:06

When a GP suspects cancer in a patient they refer them to an oncology specialist

When a GP suspects cancer in a patient they refer them to an oncology specialist

Suspected cancer patients are having to wait longer than the recommended 14 days to see a specialist, according to research.

When a GP suspects cancer in a patient they refer them to an oncology specialist with the expectation the patient will be seen within two weeks.

But figures for 2015 obtained by the Guardian show that 101,140 patients in England with suspect symptoms waited longer than 14 days to see a specialist.

People who are diagnosed with cancer can arrange specialist cancer travel insurance if they want to take a holiday to plan next steps after their diagnosis.

The figures were called 'alarming' and a 'real source of concern' by a clinician at Cancer Research UK. The charity analysed the performance data from across the NHS before sharing with the Guardian.

Speaking to the Guardian, Cancer Research UK chief clinician Peter Johnson highlighted the 'additional anxiety' delays can cause to patients.

He said it left a 'prolonged period of uncertainty'.

'Do I have cancer or do I not? And if I do have cancer, will it be curable?' added the professor.

A Department of Health spokesman said: 'The reality is the NHS is seeing over 90% more patients with suspected cancer within two weeks.'

The spokesperson highlighted that £130 million was being spent on upgrading radiotherapy equipment across England.

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