Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for which cancers is staging data not currently available; how he will measure progress to speeding up diagnosis for those cancers; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There are 17 cancer sites for which no staging system exists, and therefore staging data is not held. In total these sites have 16,700 diagnoses annually, accounting for about 5.5% of the total cancers diagnosed in England. There are a further 67 cancer sites where some of the specific tumour morphologies are unstageable, and these account for a further 4,900 diagnoses annually (1.6% of cases).

The numbers presented above are an average based on diagnoses in 2014-2016.

We are completely clear that new 75% early diagnosis ambition covers all cancers that are capable of being staged, and not just the ten currently included in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) early diagnosis metric. We are keen to work with the hon. Member, Cancer Research UK and the charities representing some of the other cancers not currently included in the PHOF metric on how we best measure progress towards the ambition moving forwards. To that end NHS England is hosting a session on Monday 25 February to discuss progress towards the new early diagnosis ambition.

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