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Local cancer GP completes Great North Run to raise awareness

Local GP and cancer lead Dr Neil Smith, completed this weekend’s Great North Run in 1h 45 minutes finishing 3023rd out of over 57,000 completers. He was raising money for Cancer Research UK and trying to increase awareness of the importance of patients attending investigations and appointments for suspected cancer.

Dr Smith was born and bred locally and after studying to be a doctor returned to Blackburn and became a partner at Oakenhurst Medical Practice. He has acted as a trainer and mentor for scores of local GP’s and works as stadium doctor at Ewood Park. He is the cancer lead for Blackburn with Darwen, East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance. Neil is NW RCGP GP of the year and the cancer team he leads have won multiple awards for their work in improving cancer care in Pennine Lancashire.

Dr Smith said:

“When G.P.s arrange urgent referrals for suspected cancer, about 93% of patients are seen by a specialist within 2 weeks.

"Some patients, for whatever reason, usually personal to them, chose not to go. I would like to support everyone in this situation and advise them attend for your tests or see a consultant. In most cases, more than nine out of 10 times, it is good news that you do not have cancer. However if cancer is suspected it is best to be certain and act quickly. The sooner cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the more likely it can be cured. Going to important appointments can save lives. I want to help G.Ps and patients and beat cancer sooner.”

More information from CRUK about urgent referrals can be found at:
https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-symptoms/what-is-an-urgent-referral