Over half of Brits don’t know symptoms of blood cancer

Bloodwise | September 2018 |Over half of Brits don’t know symptoms of blood cancer

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and to raise awareness of blood cancers Bloodwise commissioned a survey to assess the general population’s understanding and knowledge of these types of cancer. Despite blood cancer being one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, Bloodwise’s poll of 1000 adults found that only a tenth of the public were able to recognise its symptoms. Less than 1 % of people are “very confident” they could identify common symptoms of blood cancer, with over 50 per cent of the population not knowing any symptoms at all.


Blood cancer symptoms can be varied and often very vague. People can have just one or many of these before diagnosis – and in some cases, none at all:

  • Persistent and unexplained tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained bruising and/or bleeding
  • Persistent infection
  • Breathlessness.
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Lumps or swellings in the neck, head, groin or stomach
  • Bone/joint pain

Read the full article here 

Breast cancer survivors control their follow-up care in Maidstone

NHS England | August 2018 |Breast cancer survivors control their follow-up care in Maidstone

A new case study from NHS England highlights how patients with breast cancer in  are able to control  their own care in Maidstone, Kent.  The Open Access programme enables patients to have access to regular mammograms, support advice and appropriate clinical follow up up to five years following treatment for breast cancer. The programme recognises patients as individuals and that the way in which they want to be supported may change during their recovery, the team introduced an Open Access Programme, based upon a successful model in place at the Royal Marsden Hospital.



Early results

  • A reduction of 3,000 breast outpatient appointments
  • Patients access suitable clinical appointments and contact their nurse appropriately.

Patient benefits

  • Timely referral to an appropriate clinician (ie surgeon, oncologist, nurse)
  • Appointments aligned to patient need or want
  • Fast access to the Cancer Nurse to answer questions and concerns.

Full story at NHS England 

Combination of new drug and chemotherapy used to treat patients with advanced ovarian and lung cancer

ICR | August 2018 | Drug combination gives ‘exciting’ results in ovarian and lung cancer in early trial

The results of an early clinical trial suggest that a combination of chemotherapy and a new drug could be used to provide treatment for patients with advanced ovarian and lung cancer, where other treatments had failed. 

Scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, decided to test vistusertib, which inhibits the activation of a specific molecule in ovarian cancer cells, to determine if the drug combination was safe for patients, the dosage and its efficacy.  The combination of targeted drug vistusertib along with paclitaxel chemotherapy caused tumours of over 50 per cent of patients with ovarian cancer and over 33 % with lung cancer to shrink, and stopped patients’ cancers from growing for almost six months.


This far exceeds what is expected with standard treatments in patients with advanced disease who have already had, and have now become resistant to, standard treatment (Source: ICR).

Read the full news release from The Institute for Cancer Research Drug combination gives ‘exciting’ results in ovarian and lung cancer in early trial

In the news:

BBC News Drug cocktail can ‘shrink cancer tumours’

The Times Cancer drug Vistusertib gives hope for terminal patients

NHS70: spotlight on cancer

NHS England |August 2018 |NHS70: spotlight on cancer

More people are surviving cancer than ever before. As we continue to celebrate 70 years of the NHS, we shine the spotlight on some of the key milestones that improved cancer diagnosis, treatment and care over the decades, as well as looking to the future on NHS cancer care.

NHS England will also explore some of the work of the National Cancer Programme, as the NHS implements an ambitious. They have produced a timeline of cancer care improvements in cancer prevention, treatment and care (Source: NHS England).

You can watch the video here:


The NHS has played a major role in advancing cancer treatment and care locally, nationally and globally. In this video, we acknowledge some of the key milestones that marked huge improvements in cancer prevention, treatment and care.


Full details are available from NHS England 

Implementation of a whole of hospital sepsis clinical pathway in a cancer hospital: impact on sepsis management, outcomes and costs

Thursky KLingaratnam SJayarajan J, et al | 2018 |Implementation of a whole of hospital sepsis clinical pathway in a cancer hospital: impact on sepsis management, outcomes and costs| 

A new article published in the journal BMJ Open focuses on the implementation of A hospital sepsis clinical pathway in a cancer hospital, and the impact on sepsis management, outcomes and costs.


Infection and sepsis are common problems in cancer management affecting up to 45% of patients and are associated with significant morbidity, mortality and healthcare utilisation.

Objective To develop and implement a whole of hospital clinical pathway for the management of sepsis (SP) in a specialised cancer hospital and to measure the impact on patient outcomes and healthcare utilisation.

Methods A multidisciplinary sepsis working party was established. Process mapping of practices for recognition and management of sepsis was undertaken across all clinical areas. A clinical pathway document that supported nurse-initiated sepsis care, prompt antibiotic and fluid resuscitation was implemented. Process and outcome measures for patients with sepsis were collected preimplementation (April–December 2012), postimplementation cohorts (April–December 2013), and from January to December 2014.

Results 323 patients were evaluated (111 preimplementation, 212 postimplementation). More patients with sepsis had lactate measured and appropriate first dose antibiotic . Time to antibiotics was halved . Patients with sepsis had lower rates of intensive care unit admission, postsepsis length of stay, and sepsis-related mortality. Mean total hospital admission costs were lower in the SP cohort, with a significant difference in admission costs between historical and SP non-surgical groups of $A8363 per patient on the pathway. A second cohort of 449 patients with sepsis from January to December 2014 demonstrated sustained improvement.

Conclusions The SP was associated with significant improvement in patient outcomes and reduced costs. The SP has been sustained since 2013, and has been successfully implemented in another hospital with further implementations underway in Victoria.

The full article can be read at BMJ Open 

Data shows that patients diagnosed through screening, GP referral or 2-week referrals are more likely to have more treatment options

Public Health England | August 2018 | New data links route to cancer diagnosis and treatment

 Public Health England (PHE) have released new data which  illustrates how the way that cancer patients are diagnosed may affect their treatment options.

The national data links individual patients’ route to diagnosis, including screening, GP referrals, and emergency presentations, with the treatment patients go on to receive.


Those diagnosed through screening were likely to have the most treatment options available and receive treatments aimed at curing the cancer, in particular surgery to completely remove the tumour. This strongly supports the benefits of screening as a way of diagnosing cancer early, which evidence suggests leads to better patient outcomes, ultimately saving lives (Source: PHE).

Full news story at PHE

Bowel screening to start at 50

Public Health England & Steve Brine MP | August 2018 | Bowel screening to start at 50

The independent expert screening committee has recommended that bowel cancer screening in England should in future start 10 years earlier at age 50.

Currently, men and women, aged 60 to 74, are invited for bowel screening and are sent a home test kit every 2 years to provide stool samples.


Following a comprehensive review of the evidence, the committee recommends that screening should be offered from aged 50 to 74 using the faecal immunochemical home test kit (FIT).

The full press release can be viewed at Public Health England 

Related: National Bowel Cancer Audit: The feasibility of reporting patient outcome measures

National Bowel Cancer Audit: The feasibility of reporting patient outcome measures

Health Quality Improvement Programme | August 2018| National Bowel Cancer Audit: The feasibility of reporting patient outcome measures as part of  of a national colorectal cancer audit

Health Quality Improvement Programme  (HQIP)  has published the National Bowel Cancer Audit: The feasibility of reporting patient outcome measures

NHS England’s National Cancer PROMs Programme of the National Survivorship Initiative2 collected Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) for colorectal cancer patients in a one-off study in 2013. Patients were between one- and three-years from diagnosis at the point of being surveyed.


The aim of this study was to link the Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) for colorectal cancer patients in a one-off study in 2013, survey data to the National Bowel Cancer Audit (NBOCA) data to establish the feasibility of reporting PROMs as part of a national clinical audit. This was assessed according to i) the characteristics of responders compared to all eligible patients ii) the representativeness of the responders at different points along their pathway from diagnosis, iii) hospital trust variation in response rate, and iv) the validity of the measures in comparison to NBOCA measures (Source: HQIP).

The full report is available from HQIP here 
Of interest:

Public Health England & Steve Brine MP Bowel screening to start at 50

NICE Consultation: Lenvatinib for untreated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2017

Quality Health & National Cancer Patient Experience Advisory Group | July 2018 | National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2017

The results of its national cancer patient experience survey have recently been published. Commissioned and managed by NHS England, the survey provides information to drive local quality improvements; monitors national progress on cancer care;  assists commissioners and providers of cancer care; and helps  to inform the
work of the various charities and stakeholder groups supporting patients with cancer.

The experience of cancer patients in England continues to be generally very positive. Asked to rate their care on a scale of zero (very poor) to 10 (very good), respondents gave an average rating of 8.8. On nearly half of the questions in the survey, over 80% of respondents gave positive responses.

patient experience.PNG

•79% of respondents said that they were definitely involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment
•91% of respondents said that they were given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist who would support them through their treatment
•86% of respondents said that it had been ‘quite easy’ or ‘very easy’ to contact their Clinical Nurse Specialist
•89% of respondents said that, overall, they were always treated with respect and dignity while they were in hospital
•94% of respondents said that hospital staff told them who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left hospital
•60% of respondents said that they thought the GPs and nurses at their general practice definitely did everything they could to support them while they were having cancer treatment. (Source: Quality Health)