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International Healthcare News: Earlier diagnosis 'is welcomed by cancer patients'

Earlier diagnosis "makes a huge difference" for expat health insurance policyholders and other people with suspected cancer, Macmillan Cancer Support has claimed.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of the organisation, noted that having better access to diagnostic tests will be a "welcome move".

"However, it would be wrong to only focus on increasing survival rates without putting equal funding and care into ensuring appropriate long-term care is in place for cancer survivors," he pointed out, adding that the disease no longer means "a death sentence".

Mr Devane's comments come in light of an article published in the Telegraph which reported that the UK's health secretary, Andrew Lansley, is to introduce reforms to referral practices.

This means doctors will be able to refer people with potential symptoms of the disease directly for check-ups without having to send the patient to a hospital specialist.

The newspaper stated that late diagnosis is one of the main reasons why the UK has one of the worst survival rates from cancer in the developed world.

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