Early detection of cancer strong in Havering
- Credit: Archant
People have been urged to attend breast and bowel cancer screening programmes after it was revealed the one-year survival rate for patients in Havering was below the national average.
The borough outperformed much of the country in diagnosing cancer in its early stages, with figures published by Cancer Research UK showing an early stage diagnosis was received by 57.7 per cent of cancer patients in the borough – higher than the national figure of 54.5pc.
The charity said survival rates for the most common types of cancer were more than three times higher when it was diagnosed during stages one or two.
The data, compiled in 2012 and 2013, was welcomed by Havering Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
A spokeswoman said: “We are really pleased that Havering is above the national average for early stage diagnosis, as catching cancer early gives patients more options for treatment and the best possible chance of survival.”
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Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire Area Team had the lowest rate of late stage cancer diagnosis at 40pc, not far ahead of Havering’s 42.3pc.
But the borough’s one-year survival rate was below the national average of 69.3pc, with 66.4pc of people living for a year or longer.
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Havering CCG urged people to attend screening programmes and said it continued to “work closely with GPs and practice staff to train them to spot signs of cancer”.
While 91pc of people in Havering diagnosed with cancer saw a specialist within two weeks – slightly less than the national average – the diagnostic and first treatment waiting times were in line with the national averages.
Wendy Matthews, interim chief nurse at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) said: “Over the past 12 months we have been putting in place a range of new initiatives which we know will continue to improve our cancer service, and support the people that we care for.”
Initiatives include allowing cancer patients to be fast-tracked through emergency departments to receive treatment more quickly and the appointment of more clinical nurse specialists.
The trust is also creating outreach and awareness forums and working with local authorities and the YMCA to develop a physical activity programme for patients living with and after cancer, called Moving Forward.
Cancer Research UK released its figures ahead of its Early Diagnosis Campaign, launching next week.