Macmillan calls for cancer care improvements in Wales

Macmillan Wales is calling for urgent improvement in cancer diagnosis and treatment waiting times, to help ensure better outcomes for people with cancer in Wales.

Wales’ latest cancer treatment waiting times, published today, show that urgent treatment waiting times are falling disappointingly short, while non-urgent treatment times are also narrowly missing national targets.

During February 2017, 98 people with cancer did not start their cancer treatment on time.

A spokesperson for Macmillan Wales said: “Wales has achieved some very hard won wins in improving cancer care over recent years, but it is disappointing that treatment waiting times continue to miss national targets.

“Early diagnosis and early treatment make a huge difference to outcomes for people with cancer.  Delays impact not only on survival, but also the quality of life people will have once their treatment has ended.

“It is reassuring that only recently two health boards in Wales have begun piloting a quicker diagnosis pathway based on Denmark’s cancer care system.  This is an important part of Wales’ ongoing efforts to match the best cancer treatment outcomes already being achieved in Europe.

“Denmark’s health service, which is similar to the NHS, has revolutionised its approach to how cancer is diagnosed and treated, especially for those people whose cancer symptoms are not initially obvious.

“As today’s figures show, we have to see improvement in Wales.  The streamlined model that is already in operation in Denmark, and now being trialled in Wales, offers a way of evolving cancer care services here in Wales, and a potential blueprint for ensuring cancer is diagnosed earlier, and treated sooner.”

If you have been affected by cancer and would like information and support from Macmillan, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call the Macmillan Support line on 0808 808 00 00.

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