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Unexpected weight loss and cancer

Published: 17 August, 2020

New research from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care at University of Oxford could help GPs to identify the signs, symptoms, and blood test results they should look for to swiftly diagnose cancer in people with unexpected weight loss.

Their study found that, of almost 64,000 people, 908 (1.4%) received a cancer diagnosis within six months of reporting unexpected weight loss. Several symptoms, signs and tests when combined with unexpected weight loss increased the risk of a cancer further and could be used by GPs to identify different cancer types for priority investigation with further tests.

Reference: Prioritising primary care patients with unexpected weight loss for cancer investigation: diagnostic accuracy study.  BMJ 2020;370:m2651 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m2651

Last updated: 14 August, 2020

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