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Cancer checks: Record number of patients referred in England

A record 2.7 million people were referred for cancer checks in the last year, NHS England has said.

It comes after figures suggested the Covid pandemic saw numbers dramatically decline in 2020. But at least 30,000 people are still waiting to start treatment.

Charities have welcomed the increase in referrals but warned of the "devastating" impact the pandemic has had on cancer care.

Referrals for suspected cancer remain at about 16% higher than pre-pandemic levels and rose overall from 2.4 million to 2,65m in the past 12 months.

Dame Cally Palmer, national cancer director for NHS England, said there were still 30,000 people who had not started treatment due to the pandemic but that the new figures suggested some progress.

She said: "We are going further and faster than ever before in our ambitions to diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage so that we can save more lives."

It is "vital that we keep these referral rates high", she added.

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Source: BBC News, 2 May 2022


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