Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve early diagnosis rates of (a) brain, (b) lung, (c) stomach, (d) oesophageal, (e) liver and (f) pancreatic cancer.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Cancer is a priority for this Government and survival rates are at a record high1. Since 2010 rates of survival from cancer have increased year-on-year.

We recognise, however, that there is more to do, The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambition that, by 2028, the proportion of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 will rise from around half to three-quarters of cancer patients. The National Health Service is finding and treating more complex cancers at an early stage in line with the ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England has committed funding of over £1.3 billion over the next five years to deliver the commitments on cancer in the NHS Long Term Plan. This includes £200 million investment in diagnostic equipment, the implementation of optimal timed diagnosis pathways and new Rapid Diagnostic Centres and actions to increase staff in key cancer and diagnostic professions.


Between 2002 and 2017 one-year survival for all cancers combined increased from 62.6% to 73.3%. Between 2002 and 2013 five-year survival for all cancer combined increased from 44.5% to 53.6% (Years quoted are years of diagnosis. Source: Office for National Statistics)

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