Diagnosing cancer is a slow process
Only a third of county’s cases identified in early stages in 2013
PATIENTS in Bucks are among the least likely to have their cancer diagnosed in the early stages.
As the Government pledges to speed up diagnosis of the disease, data shows just a third of patients in the Aylesbury Vale CCG area (33.2%) had their cancers detected while they were at stages 1 or 2 in 2013, according to recent figures from the Health and Social Care Information Service.
Across England, 45.7% of cancers were diagnosed at stage 1 or 2 in the same year.
The Government has pledged that, from 2020, people with suspected cancer will be diagnosed within 28 days of being referred by a GP.
Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of State for Health, said: “For people who are worried they may have cancer, waiting for that all important test result is a nerveracking time.
“We have a duty to make sure this period of uncertainty is as short as possible.
“For those who get the all-clear, they will have peace of mind sooner. Those who sadly have cancer will get treatment much quicker and we will save thousands of lives as a result.”
The 2013 figures cover the percentage of new cases of cancer that were diagnosed at stages 1 or 2 for the specific cancer types – invasive malignancies of breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, bladder, kidney, ovary, uterus, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and invasive melanomas of skin.
Variations between rates in different areas may be due to the mix of types of cancers found in the areas and how likely people are to seek medical help.
If people do not attend screenings or consult a GP about unexpected pains or body changes, then when the cancer is eventually diagnosed it may be too late to safely determine the stage of the cancer; thus, this could influence rates. On a positive note, people in Buckinghamshire are the least likely to get cancer in the UK.