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NHS not making progress on early cancer diagnosis

The NHS in England is struggling to make progress on its flagship target to diagnose three-quarters of cancer cases at an early stage, MPs are warning.

The Health and Social Care Committee said staffing shortages and disruption from the pandemic were causing delays.

Some 54% of cases are diagnosed at stages one and two, considered vital for increasing the chances of survival.

By 2028, the aim is to diagnose 75% of cases in the early stages, but there has been no improvement in six years.

It means England - as well as other UK nations - lag behind comparable countries such as Australia and Canada when it comes to cancer survival.

If the lack of progress continues, the committee warned that it could lead to more than 340,000 people missing out on an early cancer diagnosis.

The Department of Health said it recognised "business as usual is not enough" and said it was developing a new 10-year cancer plan.

But a spokesman said progress was already being made, with a network of 160 new diagnostic centres being opened.R

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Source: BBC News, 5 April 2022


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