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Patient power to support early diagnosis

Recipient: Dr Andrew Millar

Host Institution: London Cancer

Title: Patient power to support early diagnosis

Type of award: 2015 Clinical Pioneer Award

Funding: £18,954

London Cancer and Medefer, with the support of the Clinical Pioneer Awards Scheme, are planning to harness the power of patients to describe their symptoms to improve the earlier identification of patients with abdominal cancer. The research is allied to another London Cancer project which is the setting up of Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centres. These Centres will enable rapid investigation and management of patients with suspected cancer, particularly those with more vague symptoms. The aim is to improve the speed of a cancer diagnosis and make the diagnosis at an earlier stage. Patients attending the diagnostic centres will be asked to complete an electronic questionnaire on their symptoms.

The researchers wish to show that by capturing the patients’ views of their symptoms, and combining this with the clinical information from the GP, the consultant will gather fuller and more accurate information to support decisions about the next steps in management. In the future this information will be anonymised (to remove anything that could identify the patient), to help researchers create the next generation of Clinical Decision Support Tools that will improve the chance of referral for appropriate specialist tests and therefore help in the effort to achieve earlier diagnosis and subsequently higher rates of cure.