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NCIN data shows high number of pancreatic cancer emergency admissions

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 21 September 2012

The National Cancer Intelligence Network's (NCIN) methodology paper on Routes to Diagnosis was published today in the British Journal of Cancer (BJC). It shows almost a third of cancers in the over 70s - around 38,300 a year in England - are diagnosed through emergency admission to hospital.

In those over 70, over half of pancreatic (55 per cent) cancers were first diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital and of all ages the data shows a high percentage of emergencies for pancreatic cancer (50 per cent). This is twice of all cancers combined with 24 per cent - around 58,400 cases a year - being diagnosed through an emergency presentation.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive, Pancreatic Cancer UK, comments,

"We know diagnosing pancreatic cancer is an enormous challenge and that patients can visit their GPs almost twice as often as other cancer patients before being diagnosed. This new data from the NCIN reinforces the urgent need to provide better pathways from primary to secondary care for patients before it becomes an emergency admission situation.

"Our own research found that almost half of GPs were not confident in spotting the signs of pancreatic cancer. Our Early Diagnosis Summit also highlighted the lack of mechanisms for consultation between GPs and secondary care clinicians where a GP has a pancreatic cancer concern."

Read the NCIN press release.

View the paper in the BJC