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 toolkits

The RCGP has produced three cancer toolkits in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan. 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 held a training event for GP Cancer leads. The focus of this session was 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 attended the event gave positive feedback and RCGP and CRUK are planning to hold a new programme of sessions across the country.

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. 

National audit: Further information

Throughout 2016, The College, in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan, is currently running an enhancement of the previous national audit to gauge how NICE guidance has affected recognition and referrals of suspected cancer. To take part in this year's audit, please register here.


The report is available to download.

The National Audit of Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care report 


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

Mesothelioma in Primary Care - a presentation by Dr Richard Roope that explores the key facts, signs, symptoms. [PPT]

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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