According to a new study published in the European Journal of Cancer Care, a quarter of cancer patients are rapidly losing their faith in the National Health Service (NHS) as they need to visit their general physician a minimum of three times before being referred for any diagnostic test.

Cancer research scientists representing the University of Cambridge and the University College London are saying that a large number of cancer patients are not satisfied with the kind of care they are getting and are losing confidence in healthcare providers treating them.

During the study, researchers analyzed data obtained from as many as 70,000 patients and came to know that out of 60,000 individuals who got diagnosed through their general physician, around 13,300 got checked by the doctor three or more times before being referred for diagnostics tests for cancer.


The individuals who had to wait for the longest period of time for proper diagnosis seem to be more likely to be dissatisfied with the care that followed. Around one in every five patients was not happy about the way medical staff broke the news that he or she had cancer.

As much as 40% of the patients were not satisfied with communication between their general physician and hospital staff. Over one in ten felt that health care providers have deliberately withheld information from him or her when offering treatment. Another 32%, on the other hand, said that they found it difficult to trust the ward nurses.

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Dr. Georgios Lyratzopoulos of UCL, who happens to be the author of this study, said that this research reveals that the first impression plays a vital role in determining how a cancer patient would view his or her experience of treatment. He added that when patients have negative experiences during diagnosis, they often end up losing confidence in the care they get all through their cancer journey.

However, soon we might see doctors diagnosing cancer earlier than they do now. Last month we saw the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) announcing that it would be issuing a checklist of symptoms for family doctors to allow them spot cancer quickly.