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London cancer patients risk rapid death

2 November 2015 20:27



A new research shows that a quarter of people who are diagnosed with cancer after going to the Accidents and Emergency (A&E) departments in London are dead within two months. 

The figures from London Cancer, which brings together services in hospitals in north-east and central London and west Essex, are stark but reflect the reality for patients diagnosed at a late stage of disease, when the cancer has probably spread, the Guardian has reported.

Those who see a GP with their concerns and are diagnosed promptly are far more likely to survive than those who ignore them until they become a medical emergency.

The researchers found that across nine acute trusts running A&E departments between January and August 2013, average survival among 963 patients diagnosed with cancer was less than six months and only a 36% were alive beyond a year.

Younger people survived more months than older patients. Half of those under-65 had died by 14 months, whereas among the 65-75 year-olds, half had died within five months and only a quarter made it past a year.

A second study at the conference found that 20% of girls from ethnic minority backgrounds are not getting vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer. It is offered to schoolgirls aged 12-13. They or their families felt it was not appropriate to have the vaccine because HPV is sexually transmitted and they felt they were not at risk, the Guardian report added.

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