A nurse based at Ealing Hospital has helped bring about a significant increase in the number of people getting scans for early diagnosis for liver cancer.

A twice-yearly scan could save the lives of thousands of Londoners from Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) which is projected to increase by 40% by 2035 making it the fastest rising in the UK.

The aggressive form of liver cancer is primarily fuelled by increases in alcohol consumption, obesity and Hepatitis B resulting in cirrhosis of the liver.

LNWH was one of two hospital trusts chosen to improve uptake of the potentially lifesaving abdominal ultrasound after winning funding from the Royal Marsden Partners Cancer Alliance and using a structured surveillance model developed by Imperial College.

Katy Hyams, a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Ealing Hospital tasked with identifying and improving the number of patients needing the twice-yearly scan, said, ”It took some detective work going through patients records but our records went from 160 identifiable patients to 660 and our non-compliance rate has subsequently dropped from 84% to 20% in the past year.

“An early diagnosis makes a huge difference as HCC is almost impossible to detect without an abdominal scan yet it’s very treatable if caught early.”


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