Breast Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 23 June 2022.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of raising the Faster Diagnosis Standard target to 95 per cent.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The NHS Breast Screening Programme is increasing uptake and reducing health inequalities to improve early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. Regional commissioners are working with Cancer Alliances and charities to develop population specific plans. The National Health Service is implementing non-symptom specific (NSS) pathways in England to combine diagnostic equipment and expertise and reduce waiting times for diagnoses. By February 2022, 86 NSS pathways were deployed across the 21 Cancer Alliances.

No specific assessment of the merits of raising the Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) to 95% has been made. The FDS threshold has initially been set at 75% and will be kept under review by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

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