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 two or more red flag symptoms (see below)

  • Three 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







GP Updates Learning Materials



We are proud to have been able to team up with the award winning GP Update training provider, Red Whale in the production of some signs and symptoms learning materials for GPs.

The learning materials include a free access teaching video and pdf learning summary that is available for all GPs to access nationally. The video is also being used as part of the Red Whale in person training events.

The learning materials can be accessed here: