Tuesday 12th April 2011
Late diagnoses of cancer in Northern Ireland are contributing to the number of hospital deaths in the country, in spite of patients expressing their desire to die at home.
According to a report launched at Queen's University Belfast, one in 11 cancer patients in 2007 died within one month of diagnosis, and these patients were particularly likely to be older and without partners.
The document called for nursing homes to be targeted for training in early recognition of cancer symptoms, as well as developing strategies to allow patients to die where they choose.
"The findings of this study are significant as they identify the good work that is ongoing in palliative care but also highlights areas in need of improvement," said Dr Anna Gavin, director of the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry.
This month, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University identified two molecules that allow cancer to spread, which could lead to earlier treatment options.
Written by Angela Newbury