A quarter of bowel cancer patients in England only diagnosed after emergency admission to hospital

 

About a quarter of bowel cancer patients in England are only diagnosed with the disease after an emergency admission to hospital, according to research published today.

This equates to about 8,000 out of 31,000 patients admitted in a 12-month period, the study found.

These patients are less likely to have surgery than those whose first admission was not an emergency case, according to the report, which looked at bowel cancer records and hospital data.

The finding about diagnosis upon emergency admission is in keeping with research by the National Cancer Intelligence Network about bowel cancer, which is diagnosed in about 31,000 people each year in England and Wales and is the second most common cause of cancer death.

The report suggests that between August 2009 and July 2010, diagnosis upon emergency admission was most common among:

:: Older people aged 85 and over - accounting for 47% (1,690) of 3,580 patients of this age;

:: More deprived patients - the percentage gradually increased from 22% (1,410) of the 6,550 least deprived to 30% (1,470) of the 4,940 most deprived;

:: Women - at 28% (3,820) of 13,570 patients (for men, this figure was 22% (3,870) of 17,240 patients).

The report also shows that, for emergency admission patients, 59% (4,540) had surgical intervention and 52% (3,990) had major surgery.

This is lower than for non-emergency patients who present through other means (such as direct referrals or two-week wait), for whom the percentages were 76% (17,510) and 73% (16,850) respectively.

This is likely to reflect the fact that emergency patients tend to have a more advanced stage of cancer on admission.

The report was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and developed by the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Deborah Alsina, chief executive of the charity Bowel Cancer UK, said: "It is deeply worrying that so many patients are being diagnosed as an emergency when we know that outcomes are worse.

"There is still more that needs to be done to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer and the need to address symptoms quickly. This must include targeting older people, women and those from deprived communities who have been shown to be the worst affected."

Health Minister Anna Soubry said: "Being first diagnosed via A&E is often too late and the outlook for patients at that point can be more bleak. We want to help the NHS diagnose bowel cancer much earlier by raising public awareness of the symptoms and supporting GPs to assess people more effectively. Our work to help GPs includes giving them better access to key tests for patients.

"This work, along with expanding screening and better treatment, is part of our overall plan to save 5000 additional lives each year by 2015."

PA

Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone