Delayed diagnosis of cancer Thematic review

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Every year around 294,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer and around 155,000 will die from the disease. It is the leading cause of mortality in people under the age of 75.

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) began a programme of work in 2007 to improve patient safety in cancer. The programme consists of three main areas: radiotherapy, chemotherapy and delayed diagnosis.

This review forms part of the NPSA’s work on the theme of delayed diagnosis, and aims to:

scope the patient safety issues related to delayed diagnosis of cancer identify potential solutions for delayed diagnosis of cancer; develop patient safety recommendations for earlier diagnosis of cancer make recommendations for improvement to practitioners and policy makers.

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