The storm over patients whose cancer was misdiagnosed deepened yesterday as ministers admitted there was still "an awful lot to do" to improve cancer care.

The storm over patients whose cancer was misdiagnosed deepened yesterday as ministers admitted there was still "an awful lot to do" to improve cancer care.

As a fourth patient claimed his cancer - this time of the skin - had been missed by GPs and specialists, doctors warned that there was no simple test for cancer and some could elude even the best efforts at diagnosis. Patients organisations called for a new "culture of communication" in the NHS to ensure the patient's voice was heard. Arnold Simanowitz, director of the Association for Victims of Medical Accidents, said: "If you look at the recent disasters we have had - the Bristol baby heart surgery scandal, the North Staffordshire research on premature babies, the 'do not resuscitate' orders on patients - the seam running through them all is of medical staff not paying attention to the patient."

Brian Reed, 50, a father of two, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, contacted The Independent after seeing reports of other patients whose cancer had been missed. He claimed three GPs last year had failed to diagnose his skin cancer. It was diagnosed last month and he awaits treatment at Mount Vernon hospital, north London.

"It has gone way beyond the stage where it can be dealt with simply. It will now require surgery, radiotherapy and probably chemotherapy," he said.

Comments