Awareness and early presentation to healthcare

What works to promote earlier presentation to healthcare by people with possible cancer symptoms?

Mair Bell ― Independent Research & Management Consultant

Being aware of symptoms, taking part in cancer screening, and presenting early to health services all hugely increase your chances of surviving many cancers.

However, the number of people presenting 'late' to services, and consequently receiving late-stage diagnoses, continues to be a critical issue in Wales. For example, even before Covid-19 hit, about 20% of cancers were first diagnosed via emergency admissions to hospital.

Here at Moondance Cancer Initiative, we're keen to understand how we can support innovations that help more people with possible cancer symptoms to present earlier to healthcare. We also believe in learning out in the open, publishing our work so that colleagues working toward the same aims can also benefit.

In 2021, we commissioned an evidence review on what works to encourage and enable early presentation with cancer symptoms, which you can download below.

In 2022, we're exploring whether a 'challenge prize' might be able to unlock digital innovation to encourage earlier presentation with cancer symptoms. We've partnered with Nesta Challenges to test the idea and we'll update this page with our findings.

Research & Insight