Di­ag­nos­ing can­cer is a slow process

Only a third of county’s cases iden­ti­fied in early stages in 2013

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Claire Miller

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.

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