Cancer Diagnosis via Emergency Presentation Study (EMPRESS)

Research conducted using routinely collected health data shows that around a quarter of patients with cancer are initially diagnosed during an emergency presentation (EP) to hospital.  This may be through Accident and Emergency, or patients may have been referred as an emergency by their GP or from a hospital clinic.  Patients who are diagnosed with cancer in this way have poorer outcomes than patients diagnosed following referral to hospital by their GP through the usual UK fast track referral system – the two-week-wait pathway (2WW).  

This study investigates what happens to patients in the period before an emergency presentation. The aim of the study is to determine whether there are differences in the pathway to diagnosis between patients who are diagnosed as an EP compared to those diagnosed via the 2WW pathway for lung and colorectal cancer. We are particularly interested in understanding what contact patients have in primary care in the year before their cancer diagnosis, as this is where we can most likely develop ways of reducing the number of emergency presentations.

Ten recruiting centres, covering a range of geographical and socioeconomic settings in the north of England, are involved in the study. The study aims to recruit 400 lung and 460 colorectal patients.  

The EMPRESS Team comprises Dr Laurie DunnSarah SmithNicky Broadley and

Amée Gill. For more information about the study, please contact Dr Laurie Dunn (Research Fellow)

The project is funded by Cancer Research UK NAEDI