Change GP Surgery Protocols to Diagnose Cancer Earlier

Change GP Surgery Protocols to Diagnose Cancer Earlier

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sam evans started this petition to NHS

GP surgeries are our first port of call when something isn't right with our health, unfortunately, many are missing the vital signs and symptoms of cancer, and most cancers are diagnosed in A&E, often when it is too late to receive any treatment. 

After recently losing my mum to stage 4 lung cancer, 6 days after her diagnosis after I admitted her to A&E with severe shoulder pain, I set out to get answers as to how this was missed. I reviewed her medical notes and learned that there were many opportunities missed over the course of 18 months, potentially diagnosing the lung cancer much sooner and giving my mum the opportunity to receive treatment and prolong her life expectancy. Not only that, diagnosing earlier would have given her and her family the opportunity to fulfil a better quality of end of life care when that time came, instead my mum spent her last weeks in hospital, in pain, rather than being at home, comfortable. 

When I challenged these missed opportunities with the GP surgery, I was told "it's not common protocol". 

These missed opportunities for further investigations included:
- Raised platelet count (above 450) - Thrombocytosis
- low white blood cell count
- High red blood cell count
- Raised inflammatory markers
- Unexplained, sudden & extreme weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Jugular Vein Thrombosis
- Extreme Shoulder Pain
- 2x History of Cancer
- Ex-Smoker

These signs and symptoms seem absolutely obvious something isn't right, even to the average person. So why isn't it obvious to a GP? It's absolutely ludicrous that these signs and symptoms went ignored because individually they didn't fit in with the protocol pathway. But collectively?

In reality, these protocols are taking lives, not saving them. They need to change. 

They need to change so that other factors, like those mentioned above, are taken into consideration when deciding how to proceed with investigatory tests and referrals. That change will give people, like you and me, a far better chance at an earlier diagnosis giving us the opportunity to receive treatment. 

Unfortunately, it's too late for my mum, but my mum would want to see change happen. Please sign the petition to help me, and my mum, make that change.

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