High Suspicion of Cancer Definitions

High suspicion of cancer definitions

These definitions have been developed by clinically-led tumour standards working groups to support achievement of the Faster cancer treatment (FCT) health target by clarifying what constitutes a ‘high suspicion of cancer’ for ten tumour streams.

You can find the definitions here.

Key purposes

A resource for triaging(or prioritising) clinicians

The definitions have been developed for use, in the first instance, by triaging (or prioritising) clinicians within secondary and tertiary care who are responsible for determining or confirming the ‘high suspicion of cancer’ flag. DHBs are encouraged to consider how the definitions can be adapted and used to support improved detection and referral of patients with a high suspicion of cancer from primary care.

Guidance to help inform clinical judgement

The definitions are intended as guidance to help inform clinical judgement. If other features/symptoms/signs exist that raise concerns, the triaging clinician can still choose to triage as ‘high suspicion of cancer’.

Risk factors have been included for some tumour types

Some tumour streams have included risk factors to support their high suspicion of cancer definitions, with particular consideration of specific factors that that may influence the triaging process. It should also be noted that Māori present with cancer at an earlier age than non-Māori across all tumour types.