Although the advancements in the technology have made it possible for the doctors to diagnose cancer, the patients are still being made to wait to see a specialist. The reason behind the delay in referring the cancer patients to specialist has not been unveiled.
Usually it takes couple of consultation period to diagnose the type of cancer and to refer the patient to a specialist. It has come to light that awareness about the cancer symptoms is lacking among the GPs and medical professionals.
The patients suffering from multiple cancers are hard to diagnose as the symptoms shown by their body are ambiguous and misleading. If a patient is referred to a specialist timely then there are greater chances of him or her being saved from the deadly disease.
A study was conducted by a team of researchers from Cambridge University. For the study, 41,000 cancer patients were observed. The researchers maintain a record of the cancer patients who have been suffering from various types of cancers like ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, multiple myeloma etc.
It has been found that usually a patient suffering from hard to diagnose cancer has to visit doctor for at least 3 times and then only he is referred to a specialist. However, the case is quite contrary with those patients who suffer from easy to diagnose cancer.
The findings of the study have been published in the pages of Lancet Oncology. While commenting upon the findings of the study, Martin Gulliford from King's College London said, “These findings raise several questions... that deserve to be tested prospectively in future research... Do modes of cancer presentation vary systematically between different groups of patients? Are GP's more reluctant to refer young or non-white patients for investigation of possible cancer?”.