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...And does dyspepsia U-turn

GPs should have rapid access to ultrasound services for patients with suspected ovarian cancer, NICE has insisted.

Its new guidance advises GPs to refer urgently for an

ultrasound scan if a patient has a palpable abdominal or pelvic mass that is clearly not uterine fibroids or of gastrointestinal or urological origin.

Guideline chair Dr Ivan Cox said: 'We have advocated ultrasound in patients with unexplained abdominal symptoms and that's new.

'The problem is it's not available everywhere but we looked at the evidence and discovered where it is available it was best practice.' He added: 'We hope where it is not available it will put pressure on local trusts.'

Dr Pawan Randev, cancer lead at Ealing PCT, said 'It's certainly something I would welcome.

'In my area an urgent referral for an ultrasound scan would be four to six weeks so if it really is urgent you would have to refer them under the two-week rule.'

Dr Nick Brown, a GP in Chippenham and cancer lead for Kennet and North Wiltshire PCT, said: 'I'm working in an area where we have access to ultrasound and it's very helpful.

'But the problem is if you increase availability you're always going to fill it.'

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