'Investigate unexplained anaemia'
GPs should investigate all patients with severe unexplained anaemia for possible cancer, a new study concludes.
The researchers warned it was not enough to refer for
endoscopy only those with low mean corpuscular volume, as recommended in British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines.
Their study examined 99 patients who were referred for lower gastrointestinal investigations, and identified four who had cancer despite normal MCV.
The research, presented at the society's annual conference, also found that only 72 per cent of patients were able to undergo endoscopy, as many were too elderly and frail.
Study leader Dr Sushma
Saksena, consultant gastro-
enterologist at University Hospital Durham, called for guidance to be reviewed to take
into account age, co-morbidities and reliability of anaemia markers.