Cancer consultants ‘may save lives’

The lives of more bowel cancer patients could be saved if the NHS made more consultants available in emergencies and cancers were detected earlier, experts have said. Bowel cancer is often only detected at a late stage, frequently when a tumour causes a life-threatening emergency bleed or blockage. The report covers data from 100 NHS trusts and includes more than 28,000 cases of bowel cancer. Some form of surgical procedure was performed in 75% of cases and a major resection – removal of all or part of the bowel – was undertaken in 60% of patients.

But the study said delays in diagnosis were having an impact on surgery rates. “Late presentation of the disease may be the reason why almost 40% of patients do not receive major surgical resection of their primary disease,” it said.

There was some good news in the study – the overall number of patients who die within 30 days of planned surgery has fallen, to 2.4% in the 12 months to July 2010 from 2.6% in the previous year. The use of keyhole surgery, which is less invasive, is also becoming more widely used, accounting for 30% of cases compared with 25% the year before. Read more…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: