Washington: A new research now suggests that GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat, particularly when combined with other seemingly low-level symptoms.
The new research, led by the University of Exeter, concludes thtat GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat, particularly when combined with other seemingly low-level symptoms.
The study of more than 800 patients diagnosed with cancer of the larynx has found more than a five per cent risk of cancer from a persistent sore throat combined with one of these other symptoms. This compares with 2.7 per cent risk for hoarseness alone.
The research, published Monday in BJGP tries to facilitate earlier detection of cancer, which is key in getting the best survival rates and health outcomes for patients.
The new research gives greater insight into the combinations of symptoms GPs should be alert to when deciding who should be investigated for cancer.
Speaking about it, one of the authors of the study Professor Willie Hamilton said, “This research matters – when NICE guidance for cancer investigation was published there was no evidence from GP practices to guide this – nor to inform GPs. Crucially, hoarseness serious enough to be reported to GPs does warrant investigation. Furthermore, our research has shown the potential severity of some symptom combinations previously thought to be low-risk. ”
Lead author Dr Elizabeth Shephard, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “The UK still lags well behind the rest of Europe on cancer survival rate – although our research is part of a body of work that is leading to significant improvements. There’s still some way to go and the results of this study really highlight the need to improve the current recommendations for all of the head and neck cancers – which are either incomplete or absent.”