New tool 'will speed up cancer detection'

11 July 2012

A new tool has been developed to help increase the speed and accuracy of cancer detection, with GPs across the UK set to benefit.

New research published in the British Journal of Cancer shows that the QCancer bowel cancer calculator was more effective at predicting whether patients had bowel cancer, compared with analysis of individual bowel cancer symptoms alone.

According to experts at the University of Nottingham, who are behind the development of QCancer, the technology can help GPs to identify people who are at increased risk of having undetected colorectal cancer, so that they could be sent for referral or further tests.

Dr Gary Collins, study author and senior medical statistician at the University of Oxford, who helped to evaluate the efficacy of the device, it "clearly outperforms" individual signs and symptoms as a way of predicting whether a patient has bowel cancer.

"It's great to see that the government is considering this model along with others to help spot people with cancers that might otherwise go undetected. Ultimately, tests like this will be likely to improve early diagnosis of the disease so that patients have the best possible chance of survival," he added.

Sara Hiom, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said it highlights a "new approach" to helping GPs make better decisions about which patients to refer for further tests.

Posted by Edward Bartel


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