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Slow cancer diagnosis twice as likely for ethnic minority patients, survey shows

PUBLISHED

New patient data shows significant regional differences in the effectiveness of primary care in getting cancer sufferers diagnosed – with an even more alarming picture when the data is broken down by ethnicity.

A survey of cancer patients asked how many times they had “spoken to a healthcare professional at [their] GP practice about health problems caused by cancer” before they were diagnosed, with a range between one and more than five times.

The overall figure for five times or more in England was 7% – but all four cancer alliances in London scored significantly above this.

Cancer Research UK said this could reflect the greater concentration of ethnic minority patients in the capital, and the data bore this out.

Nationally, 6.6% of white cancer patients had seen five or more primary care staff before getting a diagnosis. This compared to 11.7% for Asian cancer patients and 12.9% for Black cancer patients.

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Source: HSJ, 18 October 2022

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