Have large increases in fast track referrals improved bowel cancer outcomes in UK?

Michael Thompson (Lead / Corresponding author), Daniel O'Leary, Iona Heath, Lynn Faulds Wood, Brian Ellis, Karen Flashman, Neil Smart, John Nicholls, Neil Mortensen, Paul Finan, Asha Senapati, Robert Steele, Peter Dawson, James Hill, Brendan Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

UK Department of Health policies to improve survival from bowel cancer through GP referral guidelines and public awareness campaigns have increased urgent referrals to hospitals. This has led to an unsustainable demand for colonoscopy and CT colonography without evidence of significant clinical benefit. These policies could be improved by more precise stratification of the risk of having bowel cancer to achieve prompt, rather than earlier, diagnosis while avoiding over-referral and investigation of patients with transient symptoms from benign conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberm3273
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ
Volume371
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020

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