Diagnosing Cancers at an Early Stage

Understanding Views on Cancer and Cancer Services from Seniors Together in Rossendale

This report collates the findings from the final of three Macmillan Cancer Support and Healthwatch Lancashire events which took place at Futures Park in Rossendale on 21st March with members of the Seniors Together in Rossendale group taking part in the activity.

Scenarios which had been developed from real life stories provided by Macmillan Cancer Support were presented to the group by professional actors covering issues relating to spotting the signs of cancer, diagnosis, and attitudes to cancer. You can view the report here.


GatewayC is a free online cancer education platform for primary care, increasing early detection and improving patient experience. For more information visit the website here.

* Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

The Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a type of faecal occult blood test used to detect traces of human blood in stool samples. As well as a primary test for in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) it is also a test to guide the management of individuals who present with symptoms (symptomatic) There are significant differences between each use of FIT which are important for health professionals to be aware of, for further information click here.

 The short film below provides FIT (symptomatic patients) information for the primary care team.

* Completing a Symptomatic FIT Test – Information for Patients

The Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) detects traces of human blood in poo samples. It is used to find early bowel cancer by the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and is a test for patients who attend their GP surgery with certain symptoms.

This short animation has been produced by the Northern Cancer Alliance for patients who have been asked to a complete a test by their GP because they have presented with certain symptoms.

* 2 Week Wait Referrals

One of the most important tools for the early diagnosis of cancer is the ‘two-week referral’. Primary and secondary care teams both play a crucial role in this process. Below is a selection of 2 Week Wait information films produced by County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

  • 2 Week Wait information film for primary care teams please click here.
  • 2 Week Wait information film for secondary care teams please click here.
  • 2 Week Wait information film for patients please click here.

Many thanks to the Trust for allowing us to share these films with colleagues and patients across the Alliance.

* Safety Netting in General Practice

Safety netting in a general practice is way of ensuring that systems are in place to provide safe monitoring and follow-up for patients. It can help to reduce clinical risk, manage diagnostic uncertainty and support timely diagnosis of cancer.

The short film below provides an overview of the benefits of safety netting to the patient and the primary care team.

On the 8th September 2021 the Northern Cancer Alliance and Cancer Research UK hosted a Cancer Early Diagnosis Safety Netting Webinar for PCN Clinical Directors and practice managers . This was an interactive session about safety netting, hearing insights and good practice to improve safety netting of patients. Here are the presentations recordings, along with links to the session PowerPoint presentations and supporting resources.