Quality standards launched for colorectal cancer and stable angina
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in England. Around 83 per cent of cases occur in people over 60. Two-thirds of colorectal cancers develop in the colon, with the remaining third developing in the rectum. An estimated 16,000 people die from the disease each year in England.
The new quality standard for colorectal cancer includes eight statements designed to drive and measure priority quality improvements in this area.
The standard states that people with suspected colorectal cancer are offered a contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis to determine the stage of the disease.
It also states that people with rectal cancer are offered pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the risk of local recurrence. People free from disease after treatment should be offered regular surveillance.
Richard Evans, Chief Executive Officer at the Society and College of Radiographers said: “The importance of early and accurate diagnosis cannot be stressed highly enough as early diagnosis improves the possibility of achieving effective treatment outcomes.
“Responding to the challenges of delivering diagnostic imaging and effective radiotherapy in busy clinical departments will require not only the professional commitment of radiographers but also the support of provider organisations and commissioners to ensure the necessary resources are in place.”
The new quality standard for stable angina consists of five statements, which cover diagnostic investigations, first-line treatment, medical treatment before revascularisation, multidiscipliary team work and symptoms not responding to treatment.
Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: “These quality standards for stable angina are both timely and important. Angina, usually experienced as discomfort in the chest on exertion, can be the first and only warning that someone has coronary artery disease and is at risk of a heart attack. Through medical research we have developed a range of tests and treatments to effectively identify and care for patients with angina, but it is essential that robust standards and guidelines are followed to confirm or refute the presence of coronary artery disease in someone experiencing chest pain.”
22 August 2012