Priority 4 from the Teenage and Young Adult Cancer PSP

UNCERTAINTY: What General Practitioner or young person strategies, such as awareness campaigns and education, improve early diagnosis for young people with suspected cancer? (JLA PSP Priority 4)
Overall ranking 4
JLA question ID 0060/4
Explanatory note Cancer in young people is hard to diagnose; it is rare and the signs are often mistaken for other more common illnesses. Raising awareness of the signs of cancer in young people is important as this could improve time to diagnosis. Delay in diagnosis in young people with cancer may be one factor contributing to the lower reduction in cancer mortality rates compared with children or older adults in recent years. 

Schichtel M, Rose PW, Sellers C. Educational interventions for primary healthcare professionals to promote the early diagnosis of cancer: a systematic review. Education for Primary Care. 2013;24(4):274‐290.   

The paper conludes: certain educational interventions delivered at a clinician as well as at a practice level may promote the early diagnosis of cancer in primary care. There is currently limited evidence for their long-term sustainability and effectiveness. This review is not young-person focused.

Health Research Classification System category Cancer
Extra information provided by this PSP
Original uncertainty examples How can we get earlier stage diagnosis for young patients? ~ How can we improve doctor diagnosis/early referral of cancer in young people? ~ How do we improve the diagnositic pathway for all young people to ensure they recieve a timely diagnosis? ~ Do you think GPs require more training to raise awareness of the possibility of cancer when young people go to their Dr.?  ~ The early diagnosis I feel is difficult. How can the medical profession get better at this with young adults ? ~ Should cancer awareness be taught in school and be a compulsory part of the curriculum- signs/symptoms, self examination.  
Submitted by 8 x health professionals ~ 3 x patients ~ 3 x parent/carers ~ 3 friends
PSP information
PSP unique ID 0060
PSP name Teenage and Young Adult Cancer
Total number of uncertainties identified by this PSP. 185  (To see a full list of all uncertainties identified, please see the detailed spreadsheet held on the JLA website)
Date of priority setting workshop 19 January 2018