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Breast Ca referral rule may cause more anxiety

Women referred non-urgently for suspected breast cancer have lower levels of anxiety than those referred under the two-week rule because they feel the longer wait implies less concern by their GP, a study has suggested.

The researchers, from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, suggested women referred non-urgently may adopt a coping strategy while waiting to be seen by a specialist.

The study of 100 patients at a breast clinic was presented last month at the British Association of Surgical Oncologists annual meeting in London. It showed levels of depression and particularly anxiety were lower in women referred non-urgently compared with urgent referrals.

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