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Cancer Diagnosis via Emergency Presentation Study

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Cancer diagnosis via Emergency Presentation: a case-control study (Empress).



  • Contact name

    Una Macleod

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Hull

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    Research conducted using routinely collected health data shows that around a quarter of patients with cancer are initially diagnosed during an emergency presentation to hospital. This may be through Accident and Emergency, or patients may have been referred as an emergency by their GP or from a hospital clinic. Patients who are diagnosed with cancer in this way have poorer outcomes than patients diagnosed following referral to hospital by their GP through the usual UK fast track system – the two-week-wait pathway (2WW). We are particularly interested in understanding what contact patients have in primary care in the year before their cancer diagnosis, as this is where we can most likely develop ways of reducing the number of emergency presentations.

    This study will involve a detailed investigation of the emergency presentation pathway so that we can identify and understand the reasons for this type of presentation. In particular we will ask:
    1. Are there differences in the pathway to diagnosis between patients who are diagnosed during an emergency presentation compared to those diagnosed through the 2WW referral system?
    2. What are the characteristics and primary health care experience of patients with colorectal and lung cancer who are diagnosed as a result of emergency presentation, compared to those diagnosed through the 2WW referral system?

    We will compare patients who are diagnosed with lung or colorectal cancer during an emergency presentation with patients who are diagnosed through the 2WW route. We will look at the pathway to diagnosis (and in particular, relevant consultations in general practice in the year before diagnosis) by asking participants to complete a short questionnaire with the help of a researcher/nurse and by reviewing hospital and GP records. We will also consider patients’ socio-economic status. This study is being carried out in North East England.

  • REC name

    West of Scotland REC 5

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    3 Jun 2015

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion