Early detection of cancer

Late diagnosis is thought to be a factor contributing to poorer cancer survival rates in the UK compared to some other countries. In general, the earlier a cancer is diagnosed the greater the prospect of cure. Research can support earlier diagnosis through investigating ways to increase the public’s awareness of cancer signs and symptoms, providing decision-support tools to support GPs to appropriately refer patients to secondary care for diagnostic procedures and developing interventions to increase uptake of screening, particularly in hard to reach groups.

The National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative

National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI) is an initiative that is run jointly by Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health, and was set up in 2008 to support activities and research that promote the earlier diagnosis of cancer.

Part of NAEDI’s initial work was to bring together key evidence on awareness and early diagnosis, which was published in a 2009 supplement to the British Journal of Cancer. The papers provide a foundation for planning future research and policy.

► Information about NAEDI, Cancer Research UK website  

► Open-access publications, British Journal of Cancer website

Research funded through NAEDI

A consortium of research funders, brought together through the work of NCRI, pledged £7.5m to support high-quality investigator-led research that promotes cancer awareness and early diagnosis of cancer. NAEDI research calls in 2009 and 2010 respectively led to the funding of 19 project grants. A third call for research recently took place.

► Information about NAEDI, Cancer Research UK website