Speaking about plans for a pilot study in community pharmacies in England to improve the early detection of cancer, Chair of the RPS English Board Ms Thorrun Govind said:

“Pharmacists and their teams are well placed to raise awareness and help with the early detection of cancer.

“People with cancer often self-medicate during the early stages of the disease because they do not recognise their symptoms and have not yet sought advice from a health professional. Their local community pharmacy is often where they first buy medicines to treat their symptoms.

“Community pharmacists and their teams have a key role to play in raising awareness of symptoms of different cancers amongst customers and ultimately facilitating early diagnosis through formal referral pathways. Access to the patient records is key to safely advise and input into their care.

“Pharmacists are trusted health experts providing health information and advice on a daily basis and often see patients who may not want to see a GP, and so can provide an extra safety net for those who have symptoms which could be cancer.”