The Two-Week Rule for NHS Gastrointestinal Cancer Referrals: A Systematic Review of Diagnostic Effectiveness
The Open Colorectal Cancer Journal
Aim: To systematically review the impact of the Two-Week Rule in increasing the pick-up rate of colorectal cancers and Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers in the NHS. Materials and Methods: Data were combined for meta-analyses to determine (1) the Two-Week Rule pick-up rate for each cancer type and (2) the proportion of patients referred using the Two-Week Rule. Overall results were given as weighted averages. Results: There were 20 articles and 27 peer-reviewed abstracts included in this
... luded in this review. Colorectal Cancer: Only 9.5% of patients referred by the Two-Week Rule were eventually diagnosed with colorectal cancer (n = 24). When examining the referral origin of all colorectal cancer patients diagnosed during the time of 19 studies with this data, 32.2% had been referred using the Two-Week Rule. Upper GI Cancer: Only 5.5% of patients referred by the Two-Week Rule were eventually diagnosed with Upper GI cancer (n = 23). When examining the referral origin of all Upper GI cancer patients diagnosed during the time of 17 studies with this data, 23.6% had been referred using the Two-Week Rule. Conclusion: The Two-Week Rule is not sufficiently effective in diagnosing neither upper GI nor colorectal cancers in patients presenting to their General Practitioner.