‘Cancer survival rates are improving in Wales, but early detection is vital’ says Cynon AM

Vikki Howells AM has welcomed a report that outlines the improvements made in early diagnosis for cancer patients in Cynon Valley. 

The Welsh Government’s 2016 Cancer Annual report highlights how Cwm Taf Health Board has developed a new route for patients who see their GP with non-specific symptoms, integrating primary care and hospital clinicians to work towards a swifter diagnosis.  

The Welsh Government’s refreshed cancer delivery plan outlines its ambition to improve outcomes so that Wales is among the best in Europe.  To do this we must detect more cancers at earlier stages, so that patients can get the most benefit from the treatments available. The report outlines how health boards are reorganising services to achieve this.

Sadly cancer is affecting increasing numbers of people in Wales.  The NHS is responding and treated 8% more people in 2015/16 compared to five years earlier; with 11% more people receiving their treatment within the cancer waiting time target. Wales has increased spending on cancer from £307million in 2011-12 to £409million in 2014-15; we have invested nearly £10million for replacement linear accelerators and allocated £15m in this year’s budgets for improvements in diagnostic technology.

Vikki Howells said:

‘I have spoken to patients in the Cynon Valley and know how devastating a diagnosis of cancer is for them and their families. Improving early diagnosis is key to improving outcomes for patients and I am pleased that the new route developed by Cwm Taf Health Board will help achieve this for Cynon Valley patients.

While statistics show cancer survival continues to improve there is more work to do.  On a recent visit to Velindre Cancer Care Centre I saw first-hand the pioneering work being carried out to help combat this disease, and the first class care given to cancer patients. The Welsh Government is committed to continuing to improve and to deliver the best treatment and care to people with cancer in Wales.’

The Cancer Annual Report can be found at: http://gov.wales/docs/dhss/publications/170215cancer-annual-report16en.pdf