Providing a risk assessment tool for GPs to help identify symptoms of head and neck cancer
Prof Scott Wilkes
Dr Paula Bradley (pictured)
Length of project:
2 years. Currently suspended due to COVID-19
Oracle Cancer Trust
University of Sunderland
There are complex interactions of symptoms, demographics and co-morbidities which influence a GP referral to suspected cancer clinics.
Since 1997 in the UK NHS, suspected cancers have been referred to secondary care via a two week wait (2WW) pathway in an effort to standardise care and for patients to be seen, rapidly diagnosed and management started within a defined target period. There have been several iterations of the guidelines;the 2015 National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines NG12 (1) are accompanied by an analysis of the up to date evidence to justify the criteria by which a patient is referred.
This research will explore whether modelling from a primary care resource will provide evidence to modify suspected HNC referral criteria – to ensure the patients most likely to have an underlying diagnosis of cancer causing their symptoms are referred, and reduce pressure on head and neck cancer departments.
Dr Bradley is principal researcher on this project and has significant experience with patients at each point in the pathway on the head and neck cancer journey.
She has contributed to more than 10 published papers, and 4 book chapters, I have prepared and given poster and oral presentations at local, national and international Ear Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Cancer conferences.