Healthcare professional news

How community pharmacies can help with the backlog in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

‘During the pandemic cancer never stopped, early diagnosis is universally accepted as crucial for best treatment outcomes’

PCA Pharmacy Ambassador and Lead Pharmacist Ade Williams writes in his latest article for ‘The Pharmacist’ about the importance of community pharmacy in unlocking early cancer diagnosis in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

In October 2020 Macmillan Cancer Support estimated that there were 50,000 missing cancer diagnoses across the UK compared to a similar timeframe in 2019.

With a warning from Cancer experts that the Covid induced cancer backlog could lead to thousands of extra deaths- there has never been a more important time to maximise the role that community pharmacy can play in early diagnosis.

Ade discusses the benefits of allowing community pharmacies to be able to make 2-week cancer referrals. 

Community pharmacies in England undertake on average 1.2 million consultations per week providing essential and invaluable advice to people seeking more information about their symptoms. 

When general practice changed the way they worked during the pandemic community pharmacy took on the bulk of face-to-face consultations. This resulted in Practitioners in general practice recognising the level of expertise and innovation Pharmacies offer using their depth of expertise and experience to recognise non-specific early cancer symptoms such as those commonly seen in Pancreatic Cancer patients.

How will this look going forward?

As healthcare professionals continue to work in unison to address the backlog in cancer diagnosis and implement new sustainable changes to improve cancer survival rates- the role of the community pharmacy has never been more vital. 

Our work with Pharamacies

At PCA we are dedicated to ensuring healthcare professionals are well equipped with the resources they need to identify the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer and raise awareness within their community. Following on from the pandemic, we continue to supply essential information to healthcare professionals to increase a patients chance of early diagnosis.

We also have a range of campaigns that are tailored to the healthcare sector to combat awareness in the areas that need it most- To find out more about our awareness campaigns click here!

Click here to find out more about the work we do with pharmacies!