Waiting times for treatment of rectal cancer in North West England.
AffiliationDepartment of Surgery, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
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AbstractAn interim goal of the NHS National Cancer Plan is that, by 2005, patients with cancer should be treated within one month of diagnosis and within two months from urgent general practitioner referral. Preoperative radiotherapy for rectal cancer reduces the risk of local recurrence and may translate into improved patient survival. We conducted a prospective audit of existing waiting times for preoperative radiotherapy experienced by 65 patients with rectal cancer referred to the Christie Cancer Centre, Manchester, UK, between May and November 2002. The median time between referral from the surgeon to the start of radiotherapy was 40 days (range 11-85). Only 4 patients (6%) received radiotherapy within 28 days of referral by the surgeon. 62 patients (95%) underwent surgery within 14 days of completing radiotherapy. Delays in the provision of preoperative radiotherapy were primarily due to shortages of radiography staff and equipment. Lack of such infrastructure will prove a major stumbling block to achieving the targets of the NHS Cancer Plan.
CitationWaiting times for treatment of rectal cancer in North West England. 2004, 97 (3):117-8 J R Soc Med
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine
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