Breast cancer spotted later among poor

Earlier diagnosis and appropriate treatment would raise breast cancer survival rates in deprived areas, UK research suggests.

Breast cancer mammogram
Breast cancer mammogram

Current NICE guidelines state that patients should wait less than 14 days between GP referral and hospital appointment and between diagnosis and beginning treatment.

But a study of 13,000 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1998 and 2000, found that the guidelines were only being met in 60 per cent of cases.

Sixty-three per cent of women living in the most affluent areas were seen within 14 days of referral, compared to 59 per cent of women living in the most deprived areas.

Lead researcher David Forman, professor of cancer epidemiology at Leeds University, said that women from a more deprived background were being diagnosed when the disease was more advanced.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

Br J Cancer Online 2007. More GP newspaper Live Links can be found in the Library of Healthcare Republic.

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