Patients five times more likely to avoid chemotherapy with early diagnosis
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy ‘are the most appropriate first line treatments for some cancers’ – but surgery is the most likely treatment to eradicate the tumour. Additionally, using surgery alone to treat a tumour is often the best way to minimise long-term side effects that can affect a patient’s quality of life.
The new research showed:
- 70% diagnosed at stage 1 had surgery to remove the tumour
- Only 13% had surgery to remove the tumour when diagnosed at stage 4
- 12% of patients diagnosed at stage 1 have chemotherapy
- Whereas 39% of had chemotherapy when diagnosed at stage 4
Sar Hiom from Cancer Research UK said:
"This research shows how important an early diagnosis is for simplifying the treatment options as much as possible. Until now, we’ve not been able to look at such rich data for the whole of England and analyse who’s been treated how."
“Understandably, people sometimes fear cancer treatments as well as the disease itself. This research shows how important an early diagnosis is for simplifying the treatment options as much as possible. Until now, we’ve not been able to look at such rich data for the whole of England and analyse who’s been treated how. Now, thanks to recent improvements, it’s possible to show how stage affects the treatments patients need, giving us a more complete picture.
“We all have our part to play to increase the number of patients diagnosed earlier. People should consult their GP if they are worried about symptoms, GPs should follow clinical guidelines to refer patients, and the right diagnostic tests need to be performed and reported promptly so that patients can benefit more from treatments. This all needs greater attention and our national cancer strategy helps give this focus.”
Commenting further on the research Dr Jem Rashbass, cancer lead at Public Health England said:
“This data is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, linking stage of diagnosis and treatment for individual patients. Its wealth of knowledge will help us to better understand treatment and survival patterns and underpins the importance of early diagnosis and screening.”
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