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Ovarian Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to shorten the diagnostic pathway for ovarian cancer; and if he will make a statement.

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

Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

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.

Other key actions to increase an early diagnosis of ovarian cancer are:

- roll out of faster diagnosis standard will ensure that patients who are referred for the investigation of suspected cancer find out within 28 days if they do or do not have a cancer diagnosis;

- new Rapid Diagnostic Centres will bring together diagnostic equipment and expertise to streamline diagnostic services for cancer;

- campaigns to raise greater awareness of the symptoms of cancer; and

- lowering the threshold for referral by general practitioners (GPs).

As the National Health Service responds to COVID-19, we are encouraging anybody with symptoms that could be indicative of cancer to continue to contact their GP. GPs will continue to refer so that patients can be managed appropriately, and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with Cancer Alliances to ensure diagnostic services are available to carry out the necessary investigations.

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