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The Department has not funded work specifically on this topic. The Department's policy research programme has however funded five projects costing £0.5 million on cancer referral strategies and primary care. The purpose of the research, which is nearing completion, has been to increase the evidence base to help general practitioners with the referral of patients with possible early symptoms of cancer. It has also looked at the extent of and reasons for delay by patients in presenting to general practice.
The results will contribute to the development of policy for improving the early detection of cancer in patients with symptoms.