MP highlights importance of early diagnosis

A local MP has highlighted the importance of improving earlier cancer diagnosis as a means of increasing the one-year cancer survival.

In Northumberland, only 68 per cent of people with cancer will live for a year after diagnosis, and at the moment, the UK lags well behind its European neighbours in cancer survival.

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell said: “We know that early diagnosis of cancer leads to better survival rates for patients. The one-year cancer survival rates will highlight areas where improvements need to be made

“I have written to our clinical commissioning groups’ leadership for an update on initiatives to encourage earlier diagnosis, and look forward to working with them on behalf of local cancer patients.

“By matching Europe’s best survival rates, the government estimates that the NHS in England could save 10,000 lives a year.

“This should be our aim: to give people in our area the best chance in their fight against cancer.”

By putting one-year survival rates up in lights in the NHS architecture for the first time, clinical commissioning groups will be able to identify where initiatives are required – or need to be improved – to promote earlier diagnosis.

These can include better screening, improving public awareness of signs and symptoms, better diagnostics at primary care or GP training.

The presentation of the one-year survival figures is a useful tool to measure the performance of the local NHS and ensure improvements are made.