NHS England is in the process of introducing ‘one-stop cancer shops’ across the country, the aim of which is to afford quicker diagnoses for patients.
At present, patients often face delays as they are sent for several tests to check for different forms of the illness. Despite cancer survival rates having increased over recent decades, patients who do not display obvious signs of cancer often face treatment delays.
For example, individuals who have experienced unexplained weight loss, reduced appetite or abdominal pain can be referred several times for different tests, which delays valuable opportunities to begin treatment.
The approach NHS England is now adopting was first introduced in Denmark and allows patients to undergo all the necessary tests under one roof.
Cally Palmer, national director for cancer at NHS England, said: "Early diagnosis is crucial to saving lives and providing peace of mind for patients, which is why we are driving forward plans to revolutionise our approach to cancer in this country.
"These new one-stop shops represent a real step change in the way people with unclear symptoms are identified, diagnosed and treated."
The bottom line is that the rapid diagnosis and subsequent fast treatment of cancer is vital for saving lives.
Initially, there will be 10 such centres spread across England at the following locations:
- Royal Free Hospital, London
- North Middlesex Hospital, London,
- University College Hospitals London
- Southend University Hospital
- Queens Hospital, Romford
- St James University Hospital, Leeds
- Airedale General Hospital, West Yorkshire
- University Hospital, South Manchester
- Royal Oldham Hospital, Greater Manchester
- Churchill Hospital, Oxford
More centres will be added if the project is a success.