Many family doctors are not treating breast cancer worries as urgently as official guidelines urge, a survey suggested yesterday.
One-third of GPs are confused about how they should respond to women's concerns, according to Breakthrough Breast Cancer's findings for BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
In a survey of 200 GPs, the charity found that 10% would treat a woman who had previously had confirmed breast cancer as routine.
Some 34 per cent would refer routinely women aged under 30 who had reported a lump and had reasons for concern, such as a family history of the disease.
But guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) say that, in both such instances, women should be seen urgently.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, described the survey results as "surprising".
"If you go to your GP and the GP says 'well there may be something of concern here (but) it may not be very important' you don't go away and forget about it, you go away and worry," he told the BBC.Reuse content