How can primary care detect lung and colorectal cancer earlier? GP’s and PhD students Elinor Nemlander and Eliya Abedi are on mission to find the answer to this.
Early detection means increased chances of surviving cancer. And primary care is crucial for early detection. But research so far has mainly focused on secondary care. The standardized care pathways, aiming at shortening waiting times and speeding up referrals, are mostly developed on the basis of research in secondary care.
One of the challenges of primary care is to identify out of those with similar symptoms which patients may have a dangerous disease and which are generally healthy. Risk assessment tools can help. But what are the risks? CaPrim, the knowledge team for cancer in primary care in Stockholm Health Care Region, wants to find out. In the past, the team has worked to adapt the content of standardized care pathways for primary care and train health care professionals. Now two team members, Dr. Elinor Nemlander and Dr. Eliya Abedi, will do their PhD on these subjects. They will research how primary care can detect cancer earlier, including by examining what combination of symptoms may indicate cancer and whether a change in the pattern of visits in primary care may work as an indicator. The goal is to contribute with input to develop tools and ways of support that primary care can use in daily work.
Vision Zero Cancer is co-financing their doctoral positions at Karolinska Institutet together with AstraZeneca through the donation of an unrestricted educational grant. Other financers are Regional Cancer Centre Stockholm Gotland and the primary care centers where both are employed as General Practitioners.