The RCGP has identified cancer as an ‘enduring priority’. It aims to develop and implement a cancer strategy for primary care. The College is now working with Cancer Research UK and other partners in promoting models of best practice and pathways of care and will develop learning and educational resources. Please find below a range of cancer resources.

RCGP Cancer Position Statements

The College has published an e-Cigarette position statement in partnership with Cancer Research UK.

RCGP Cancer toolkits

The RCGP has produced three cancer toolkits in partnership with Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, NHS England and HeadSmart. The following toolkits provide intuitive collections of resources for specific areas relating to cancer within primary care.

GP Cancer leads cascade event

RCGP and Cancer Research UK hold annual training event for GP Cancer leads. The focus of these is to explore approaches for developing effective communication with local GP colleagues in relation to early diagnosis and management of cancer patients, how to translate data into meaningful messages, how to work with colleagues in the secondary sector and the role of Cancer leads in the new NHS environment. Most people who have attended the event gave positive feedback and RCGP and CRUK are now holding a new programme of sessions across the country. Sign up here.

National audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care

This audit was undertaken in 2009/10 as part of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative. It was led by Professor Greg Rubin, with the RCGP, the National Cancer Action Team and the National Cancer Intelligence Network. 

In 2016/17, The College, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, Public Health England, NHS England and Macmillan, carried out an enhanced National Cancer Diagnosis Audit (NCDA) to understand patient pathways to cancer diagnosis and gauge how NICE guidance has affected recognition and referrals of suspected cancer. Practices that took part in this audit have received tailored feedback for quality improvement. The results of this audit are expected soon.


The report is available to download.

Findings from 2009/10 Audit

The report found that

  • three quarters (73.2 per cent) of patients visiting their GP were referred to a specialist after only one or two consultations
  • nearly 60 per cent of all patients referred (57.1 per cent) attended secondary care within two weeks

The report also looked at use of investigations and found that some cancer patients, including those with brain, ovarian, pancreatic, liver and kidney cancer, were more likely to have benefitted from better primary care access to diagnostics including

  • chest X-rays
  • non-obstetric ultrasounds
  • GI endoscopies
  • brain MRIs

Overall, rapid access to investigations would have altered the GP’s management of the patient in six per cent of cases.

RCGP e-Learning

The Cancer Education Hub includes a range of e-learning courses and other resources covering issues concerning: screening, early diagnosis and management in primary care. New courses and resources are being added all the time.

Mesothelioma in Primary Care

Significant event audit

Improving cancer diagnosis - a toolkit for general practice

Building on the experience gained through the RCGP/DH National Cancer Audit programme, we have developed a toolkit for practices to use as they consider ways to improve their diagnosis of cancer in primary care.

Cancer SEA Peer Review Pilot (2012 - 2013)

The RCGP, in partnership with the National Cancer Action Team and Macmillan Cancer Support, ran up one year pilot which offered external paper assessment of SEAs of cancer diagnosis. A total of 95 SEAs were assessed. Important recommendations have been made following the pilot.

SEA guidance

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