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Health News

Teenage cancer going ‘undetected’ - with a third being diagnosed by accident and emergency services


Over a third of young people with cancer – 37 per cent – are diagnosed through admission to accident and emergency, a report has found.

This is nearly three times the number of adults diagnosed in this way, which is 13 per cent, the Teenage Cancer Trust said. Of these young people, 26 per cent had already been to see their GP with cancer symptoms.

The report also highlights that diagnosis through A&E is associated with poorer prognosis and poorer care experience.

The figures are from the Improving Diagnosis report released today by the Teenage Cancer Trust to mark the start of Teenage Cancer Action Week.

Around seven young people aged 13 to 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK and more young people die as a result than with any other disease.

Whilst it is accepted that early diagnosis leads to better outcomes in adults, cancer in young people is harder to diagnose because the signs are so similar to other less harmful problems.

This means young people with cancer are frequently misdiagnosed as having infections, sports injuries and exam stress, the charity said. Teenage Cancer Trust is trying to improve awareness of the signs of cancer in this age group.