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Cancer

Department of Health written question – answered on 17th March 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that people requiring urgent cancer treatment are fast-tracked to avoid lengthy waiting times.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

There are eight cancer waiting time targets, which are set out below.

- at least 93% of patients to be seen by a specialist within two weeks of an urgent general practitioner referral for suspected cancer;

- at least 96% of patients to begin first definitive treatment within 31 days of diagnosis for all cancers;

- at least 85% of patients to begin first treatment within 62 days of urgent referral for suspected cancer for all cancers;

- at least 93% of people urgently referred for breast symptoms (where cancer was not initially suspected) to be seen within two weeks of referral;

- at least 98% of patients to be treated within 31 days where the subsequent treatment was an anti-cancer drug regime;

- at least 94% of patients to be treated within 31 days where the subsequent treatment was surgery;

- at least 94% of patients to be treated within 31 days where the subsequent treatment was radiotherapy; and

- at least 90% of patients to begin first treatment for cancer within 62 days of referral from a National Health Service cancer screening service, for all cancers.

During this Parliament, urgent cancer referrals are up by 51% as we treat more patients than ever, and cancer survival rates that were amongst the worst in Western Europe have risen to record levels.

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