Cancer Research UK and The Royal Marsden collaborate to help GPs diagnose cancer earlier

Cancer Research UK

GPs across the country are set to benefit from a new partnership between Cancer Research UK and The Royal Marsden, aimed at improving the early diagnosis of cancer.

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK will offer new training and support opportunities to GPs using a combination of online learning modules, regular events and expert discussions. 

The events will bring together primary and secondary care colleagues to collaborate and scope out new ways to overcome the challenges they face in diagnosing some cancers more quickly and accurately.

The first event will focus on women’s cancers – covering ovarian, cervical, breast and endometrial cancers. These education days will explore key symptoms and provide sources of information and support. 

Feedback gained from GPs across the different elements of the programme will be used to tailor future content and help fill key knowledge gaps.

This partnership builds on both The Royal Marsden’s and Cancer Research UK’s commitment to help primary care professionals diagnose more cancers early. 

Liz Bates, Cancer Research UK’s GP Engagement Lead, said: “The majority of the 330,000 people diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK will start with a visit to their GP. 

“But new cancer cases are not something a GP will see every day or even every week – each individual GP only sees around eight new cases of cancer each year and they’ll only have 10 minutes in which to spot these patients. That means it’s essential for us to give doctors the best possible resources and opportunities to collaborate to spot the warning signs and refer suspected cases quickly.

“This partnership will bring together two of the biggest players in the fight against cancer with the aim of helping more GPs to spot the signs earlier, giving patients the best chance of beating the disease.”

The first event will be held at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea, London, on the 27 February. You can register to attend through www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/gp. An educational module to complement the event is available at www.doctors.net.uk/cancerresearchuk 

Martin Gore, Medical Director for The Royal Marsden said: “The Royal Marsden has been at the forefront of providing the highest quality educational resources on cancer for GPs for over four years. In addition we run four training posts specifically for GPs in common cancers. The partnership with Cancer Research UK allows us to build upon our very successful GP programme and gives GPs the opportunity to access resources they can trust all in one place.

“Cancer diagnosis, treatment and follow up are becoming more complex and advancements are being made every day. Our joint education programme will provide the focused, accurate and reliable education primary care practitioners require. Providing this resource for GPs to diagnose cancer faster and more effectively will ultimately benefit the patient.”

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: “GPs play a vital role in detecting cancer early when patients have the best chance of survival. For example, over 70 per cent of lung cancer patients diagnosed at the earliest stage survive for at least one year compared to fewer than 15 per cent of those diagnosed at a late stage.

“By engaging GPs and asking for their feedback, we can work with The Royal Marsden to design courses and events to address common themes, supporting clinicians with targeted learning to help spot cancers sooner."

ENDS

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