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Conference report: improving outcomes for gastrointestinal cancer in the UK

Forgacs, I; Ashton, R; Allum, W; Bowley, T; Brown, H; Coleman, MP; Fitzgerald, R; ... Wyatt, S; + view all (2018) Conference report: improving outcomes for gastrointestinal cancer in the UK. Frontline Gastroenterology , 9 (1) pp. 49-61. 10.1136/flgastro-2016-100713. Green open access

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Abstract

On 7 December 2015, the British Society of Gastroenterology and the Royal College of Physicians held a joint conference: GI cancer in the UK: can we do better? The meeting was timely as, although outcomes for patients with most gastrointestinal cancers in the UK have steadily improved in the past 10 years, survival figures remain substantially worse than in many other comparable nations. After defining the scale of the problem, the issues around early diagnosis were discussed. Screening as prevention has huge potential where there are defined premalignant conditions. Uptake into the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) is variable but in some areas remains low. It is hoped that with the National Screening Committee recommendation to replace the guaiac faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) with the faecal immunochemical test (FIT), the planned age extension and the continued roll-out of bowel scope screening by the National Health Service (NHS) will extend the value of the programme further. The view from primary care suggested that many factors affect the decision to make a referral for suspected cancer. Lack of direct access to testing was highlighted as a concern, as was the compounding issue of the many patients who delay seeking care. The Independent Cancer Force is the latest of several bodies calling for general practitioners (GPs) to be able to refer ‘direct to test’. However, a particular concern from secondary care relates to further stretching of diagnostic resources already under pressure—and how that can be addressed in times of austerity. Waiting times for endoscopy have begun to rise, yet capacity to expand is limited. Training, recruitment and retention of clinical staff were all highlighted as key issues limiting the availability of these procedures. Various practical ways to improve detection with endoscopy were proposed, as were possible ways to support and retain staff. While much discussion related to colorectal cancer (CRC), the conference also heard about innovative methods of addressing the substantial problem of preventing oesophageal and pancreatic cancer, or at least making the diagnosis early enough to influence survival. As well as describing the presentations, this report attempts to capture the key points that emerged from the audience discussions.

Type: Article
Title: Conference report: improving outcomes for gastrointestinal cancer in the UK
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/flgastro-2016-100713
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1136/flgastro-2016-100713
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright information: Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/ This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inst for Liver and Digestive Hlth
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045384
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