RCGP and Cancer Research UK link to boost GP cancer diagnosis

GPs will be helped to improve early cancer diagnosis by a five-year programme launched this week by the RCGP and Cancer Research UK.

Dr Clare Gerada: 'Vital role GPs play in identifying cancer.'
Dr Clare Gerada: 'Vital role GPs play in identifying cancer.'

The joint project, part of the college's new 'enduring priorities' programme, will focus on plans to improve the accuracy and speed of cancer diagnosis in primary care.

This will include publishing best practice models, giving GPs access to learning toolkits and updated guidance, and adding content to the GP curriculum.

Professor Greg Rubin of Durham University, a former GP who has been appointed to lead the work, said: 'In the past few years, we have come to understand just how important a part GPs play in the diagnosis as well as the aftercare of patients with cancer.

'I will be working with the NHS, the cancer charities and others so that the RCGP can add value to the good work that is already being done.'

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said the partnership aimed to 'develop ways to help doctors confidently diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage and ultimately save more lives'. She added: 'The GP is the first port of call for most patients with symptoms that could be cancer, which highlights the vital role GPs play in cancer diagnosis.'

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said: 'As a GP, Greg understands the vital role we play in identifying cancer in our patients and seeing them through treatment.

'His work, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, will help us help GPs build upon their existing skills to diagnose cancer earlier and provide the best possible quality of cancer care to our patients when they need it the most.'


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