The early diagnosis of cancer in primary care: A qualitative exploration of the patient’s role and acceptable safety‐netting strategies

Early diagnosis is important in reducing cancer morbidity and mortality. While general practitioners play a major role in achieving early diagnosis, vague symptoms, atypical symptoms and co-morbidity make early cancer diagnosis difficult. This study conducted interviews with patients and GPs/Nurse practitioners to explore three safe-netting strategies, and patient involvement in timely and accurate cancer diagnosis. The results from this study highlighted the importance of patient responsibility in monitoring symptoms, returning for review with their GP, and open communication. This work has identified some of the barriers and facilitators to patient involvement in cancer diagnosis in primary care.

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