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Childhood cancer study may help nurses to ‘act earlier and save lives’

Research will explore links between time to diagnosis and outcomes

Research will explore links between time to diagnosis and outcomes

Picture: iStock

A new UK-wide childhood cancer study aims to increase healthcare professionals awareness of signs and symptoms.

The Childhood Cancer Diagnosis Study helps to chart the journey children and young people make from the start of their symptoms until they receive their diagnosis.

Cancer referrals can be delayed for children and young people

The suspicion of cancer in children and young people can be low, and patients could be seen by healthcare professionals many times before a referral is made.

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Research will explore links between time to diagnosis and outcomes

Picture: iStock

A new UK-wide childhood cancer study aims to increase healthcare professionals’ awareness of signs and symptoms.

The Childhood Cancer Diagnosis Study helps to chart the journey children and young people make from the start of their symptoms until they receive their diagnosis.

Cancer referrals can be delayed for children and young people

The suspicion of cancer in children and young people can be low, and patients could be seen by healthcare professionals many times before a referral is made.

The study, led by the University of Nottingham, began at the end of September and will last for two years.

Cancer study will explore consequences of time to diagnosis

East Midlands Children’s and Young Persons’ Integrated Cancer Service lead nurse, Margaret Parr, is one of the first nurses in the UK to implement the study with patients and families.

‘Results from this study will enable us to demonstrate any links between time to diagnosis and outcomes,’ she said.

‘It will also help to inform the Child Cancer Smart campaign, which aims to increase awareness among the public, and healthcare professionals, of the signs and symptoms of cancer in this age group.’

Parents will be asked to describe journey to diagnosis

All parents of newly diagnosed children over the age of two will be asked to participate in the research study by the child’s oncology team.

Information will be collected regarding symptoms, who the child went to see with these symptoms, and how long it took to receive a diagnosis.

The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and children’s cancer charity Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.

Study may ‘provide a deeper level of understanding’ about childhood cancer

Teenage Cancer Trust director of services and nurse Louise Soanes said the new study is exciting for the specialty and for the wider healthcare sector.

‘It has the potential to provide a deeper level of understanding, and with that comes the potential to act earlier and save or enhance children and young people’s lives.’


Read more about the study


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