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.

Using their clinical judgement on an individual patient basis, primary care clinicians may wish to promote e-cigarettes use as a means to stopping. Patients choosing to use an e-cigarette in a quit attempt should be advised that seeking behavioural support alongside e-cigarette use increases the chances of quit success further.

  • RCGP and Cancer Research UK podcast on e-cigarettes

A survey by Cancer Research UK in 2017 found that 20% of general practitioners never discuss e-cigarettes with their patients and a further 25% discussed them occasionally. Further to this, many GPs are unsure of what they should be saying in relation to e-cigarettes. This film based on the RCGP position statement on e-cigarettes features the Cancer Research UK CRUK prevention lead, Professor Linda Bauld, and Dr Richard Roope, RCGP and CRUK Cancer Clinical Champion, addressing key concerns which GPs have voiced about e-cigarettes. They also share the evidence behind the RCGP position statement. Please watch, and if you have time, please complete this short feedback survey.

  • CRUK e-cigarette hub
  • 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.

    National audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care

    This National audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care 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.

    The RCGP, Cancer Research UK, Public Health England, NHS England and Macmillan ran an enhancement of the audit in 2016/17 which gathered data on cancers diagnosed in 2014. The initial results of this audit are published in the British Journal of General Practice. To find out more, please visit Cancer Research UK's website.

    National cancer diagnosis audit report

    The NCDA found that in 2014:

    • Most patients (72%) first presented at the GP surgery (or had a home visit)
    • 74% of patients were referred to a specialist after only one or two consultations; approximately 52% were referred through the Two Week Wait route
    • Primary care led investigations before referral were used in 45% of all patients
    • For 44% of patients, there was evidence in the clinical record that safety netting had been used

    Read the full publication about the NCDA findings


    The below template includes the data items captured in the National Cancer Diagnosis Audit and may be used in your own practice if you wish to audit cancer diagnoses. Please note that the template should only be used for internal audit at the practice, and any patient identifiable data captured in the template must be kept safe and secure at the practice.

    • National Cancer Diagnosis Audit Template

    RCGP eLearning

    The Cancer Education Hub includes a range of eLearning 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.

    Early Diagnosis eLearning module

    This 30-minute free eLearning module has been developed in partnership with Cancer Research UK primarily for GPs, but will be of interest to other clinical members of the wider primary care team. The course highlights the importance of recognising cancer in its early stages and includes statistics, reflective cases, risk toolkits and practical suggestions on how to improve your clinical practice.

    "Excellent course for reviewing the urgent referral guidelines for suspected cancer" GP user

    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.

    • Cancer SEA Peer Review Pilot report, templates and resources 

    SEA guidance

    • More guidance on undertaking an SEA (including NPSA advice, how to undertake an enhanced SEA)

    The following resources were produced as part of the RCGP and Cancer Research UK Cancer Clinical Priority Partnership which ended in March 2020.

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