Lay referral in the early diagnosis of cancer
Student: Emma Campbell
Supervisor: Dr Julia Hiscock
Location: Bangor University
Cancer Type: All - Early cancer diagnosis
Start and End Date: Oct 2017 - Sep 2020
18000 people in Wales are diagnosed with cancer (excluding skin malignancies) each year. The incidence is similar to England, but all UK countries have poorer survival than other European countries. An estimated 5-10,000 deaths within five years of diagnosis could be avoided annually in England if efforts to promote earlier diagnosis and appropriate primary surgical treatment are successful. This equates to about 300-600 deaths per year in Wales. This study seeks to contribute to the knowledge which could help to address this.
There are a range of factors involved in patients’ ‘pathways to treatment’, influencing detection and diagnosis delays, including patient, healthcare and disease factors. Within this, one area which is poorly understood is the role of people’s social networks (friends, colleagues and family) in discussing, supporting and encouraging each other towards actions which could improve knowledge, prevention or detection of cancer.
This project aims to maximise the health benefit for cancer in Wales by the informal lay consultation about cancer that takes place among friends, relatives and other informal network members, within the context of symptoms that may indicate underlying and undiagnosed cancer.