Regional red flags for clinicians - early diagnosis saves lives

  • Childhood cancer is the biggest medical cause of death in children aged 1 – 14 in the United Kingdom.​

  • The average GP surgery would expect to see a case of cancer in a child or young person approximately every 1.8 years.

  • The average practicing GP would expect to see a case of childhood cancer just under every 11 years, meaning they may see 3 or 4 cases in a career.

Beware of:

  • children presenting with 2 or more red flag symptoms (see below)

  • 3 or more presentations for the same problem (consider referral)

  • marked parental concern

How can we identify these children out of those presenting with symptoms of normal childhood illnesses?

Look for:

  • symptoms that are persistent, unusual or worsening for example well localized pain that wakes a child up from sleep.

  • recurrent attendances (thought to increase the chance of a cancer diagnosis up to ten fold).

Download a printable version of the Regional Red Flags information card