Online calculator 'could help diagnose most serious cancers'

15 December 2011

Patients and healthcare professionals could use a new technology to help tackle two of the most deadly forms of cancer - pancreatic and bowel.

According to researchers at the University of Nottingham and ClinRisk, a simple online calculator could help doctors to work out risk factors and diagnosis signs for individual patients.

Two new QCancer algorithms, which cross-reference symptoms and risk factors of patients to highlight those most likely to have pancreatic and bowel cancer, could potentially save thousands of lives every day, the researchers suggested.

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox from the university's division of primary care, said: "We hope these new tools will help GPs with the difficult task of identifying patients with suspected cancer earlier and that this in turn could help improve treatment options and outcomes for patients."

According to MacMillan Cancer Support, about 45 to 55 per cent of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed at stage four - the most severe case in the staging guide meaning that the tumours have spread to other major organs.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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