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New guidance aims to promote early cancer diagnosis

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New guidance has been produced to help GPs identify symptoms and diagnose young women with cervical cancer early, it has been announced.

A working group has found many women with abnormal bleeding have experienced delays in receiving a full pelvic examination. The subsequent guidance provides doctors with an easy to follow algorithm to help manage these patients.

The guidance, also aimed at helping GPs identify symptoms, re-emphasises guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) around gynaecological healthcare.

The working group of the Advisory Committee on Cervical Screening (ACCS) was set up to look at the issue.

National Clinical Director for Cancer Sir Mike Richards said: “To help GPs follow the correct procedure we have produced a pathway which maps the steps they need to take when women aged 20-24 present with post-coital bleeding and bleeding between menstruation.”

Chairman of the RCGP Professor Steve Field said: “We welcome this new guidance; it is a really positive step that will assist us in making earlier cancer diagnoses for younger women aged 20-24, which will in turn improve the outcomes for those at risk, and ultimately save lives.

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