Most professionals believe that timely cancer diagnosis paves the path to better treatment and eventually prohibits the tumor from turning into a threat. Seeking to establish the same, scientists from the University of Nottingham have developed 2 new QCancer algorithms which cross checked the risk factors and symptoms of patients and seemingly predicted the individuals who were at greater risk of developing bowel and pancreatic cancer.
For the study, details of patients spanning across 564 GPs were scrutinized. A variety of factors like loss of weight, appetite loss, abdominal pain, chronic pancreatitis, smoking habits and diabetes were referred to in the analysis.
By gauging all the aforesaid variables, the team apparently predicted about 62% of all pancreatic cancer cases which occurred in the past 2 years. These individuals were seemingly among the 10% of patients predicted to possess the greatest risk.
Leading the research, Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox in the University’s Division of Primary Care, specified, “We hope these new tools will help GPs with the difficult task of identifying patients with suspected cancer earlier and that this in turn could help improve treatment options and outcomes for patients.”
Following the same procedure for bowel cancer, parameters such as age, family history of colorectal cancer, anemia, and other possible symptoms such as rectal bleeding, weight and appetite loss, diarrhea and irregularities in passing of bowels were taken into consideration.
As per the results of the algorithm, 70% of all patients who developed bowel cancer appeared to be in the 10% of individuals forecasted to have the highest risk. These two analyses accessed records of patients in the age-group 30 to 84 who were not undergoing diagnosis and did not experience any of the symptoms since the last 1 year.
The team believed that the pancreatic and bowel cancer algorithm may be integrated into the present GP computer systems to help professionals wave the red flag for patients at higher risk. The study is published in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP).