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1 in 5 Yorkshire cancer diagnosis through A&E

1 in 5 Yorkshire cancer diagnosis through A&E

Published by May Norman at 11:12am 20th July 2019. (Updated at 7:01am 21st July 2019)

One in five Yorkshire cancer patients diagnosed through emergency route

  • New data has revealed one in five Yorkshire cancer patients are diagnosed through an emergency route.
  • Yorkshire Cancer Research - which is based in Harrogate - has released data.
  • However, the figures reveal Harrogate and Craven have the lowest emergency presentation rate at 13% when compared to England's average of 18.1%.

One in five cancer patients in Yorkshire are diagnosed through an emergency route, according to new data shared by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The statistics, published by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, reveal that during Q3 2017/18, 19% of patients were diagnosed as an emergency, for example in Accident and Emergency, compared to 18.1% across England as a whole.

When a cancer is diagnosed through an emergency route, it has usually progressed to a late stage when the symptoms are more severe. Cancers found at a late stage tend to be more difficult to treat, meaning the chances of survival are lower.

Around three in 10 cancers diagnosed through an emergency route are found at stage four (the latest stage).

According to the data, North Kirklees CCG has the highest emergency presentation rate in England at 27.6%, followed closely by Hull where 26.3% of patients were diagnosed through an emergency route.

However, the figures also reveal Harrogate and Craven have the lowest emergency presentation rate at 13% which is below the national average of just over 18%.


Yorkshire cancer research


Some cancers are more likely to present as an emergency than others. For example, nearly half of all lung cancers and a quarter of bowel cancers are diagnosed in an emergency situation, compared to just two in every 100 malignant melanoma (skin cancer) cases.

Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research and Services at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:

“Although emergency presentations are gradually declining over time, the data shows there is still lots of work to be done to tackle this issue.

“It’s essential that people feel empowered to look after their own health and wellbeing; that they can recognise the early signs and symptoms of cancer and know when to see their GP. It’s also important that people take part in screening when invited so that if they do have cancer, it’s more likely to be diagnosed at an early stage. We also need to support GPs in identifying symptoms and either carrying out or referring patients for further testing.”

Yorkshire Cancer Research is working in communities across the region to raise awareness of cancer and encourage participation in the national screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer.

The charity recently announced a £2m investment to drive cancer prevention and early diagnosis strategies in partnership with Leeds City Council and the Leeds Cancer Programme.

Yorkshire Cancer Research is also funding a multi-million pound lung screening initiative in Leeds and a research programme in Hull that includes a campaign aimed at encouraging more people to see their GP if they notice early signs of a lung health problem.

Dr Griffiths added:

“Early diagnosis is the key to saving more lives in Yorkshire. Investing in research and services to increase early diagnosis is one of the charity’s key priorities.”


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