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NHS bus-ting bus

NHS Bus-ting Cancer Tour is making a stop in Grimsby

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, National Campaigns

This November, the NHS in England takes the ‘Bus-ting Cancer Tour’ to brand new locations with NHS staff in a specially designed bus travelling across the country to encourage people who are worried about a cancer symptom to contact their GP practice.

Part of the NHS Help Us, Help You campaign, the bus is visiting towns and cities with some of the lowest early diagnosis rates, including Grimsby, Coventry, Nottingham, Basildon and Portsmouth, from Monday 27 November to Friday 1 December.

The tour aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and to encourage people to contact their GP practice if they notice something in their body that doesn’t feel right, because finding cancer early makes it more treatable and can save lives.

The NHS Bus-ting cancer bus will be at the ASDA supermarket on Holles street, Grimsby, on November 27th from 10am – 4pm. 

Health professionals are on hand at each stop to share further information and help people without a GP practice to sign up to their local service.

The NHS Bus-ting bus will be in Grimsby on November 27th

It’s important that if you are worried about a symptom that could be cancer, to contact your GP practice. To rule out cancer, your GP may refer you for tests. Whatever the result, your NHS is here for you.

While the majority (79%) of respondents in Yorkshire agree that early detection of cancer can significantly increase chances of successful treatment, 44% said they wouldn’t make an appointment with their GP if they noticed a change in their body that they thought could be cancer.

For more information on cancer signs and symptoms go to

Picture of three men and a women working on a building site with hard hats and high vis tops

Call to outdoor workers, who are three times more likely to develop skin cancer, to protect themselves from harmful UV rays

By Announcements, National Campaigns

Picture of three men and a women working on a building site with hard hats and high vis topsMay is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and as the weather across the UK heats up, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance has joined forces with Macmillan, SKCIN and MKM Building Supplies to raise awareness of skin cancer and the importance of those working outdoors protecting themselves.

Skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the UK with over 220,000 cases diagnosed annually and that number continues to rise. Outdoor workers receive five to 10 times more sun exposure and as a result are, on average at 60% greater risk of developing skin cancer. However, with simple precautions such as covering up with clothing and wearing sunscreen, this risk can be significantly reduced.

Throughout May, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, Macmillan and SKCIN, will be hosting skin cancer awareness information stalls in several MKM Building Supplies stores to raise awareness of the importance of outdoor workers protecting themselves, as well as what to look for when it comes to skin cancer signs and symptoms.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “You don’t have to be exposed to the sun for lengthy periods and it doesn’t have to be a clear and sunny day for the sun’s rays to damage your skin. Construction workers face all kinds of weather and just like they would don their high viz, waterproof jackets to protect themselves from the elements in winter, it’s equally important that they protect themselves from the harmful and powerful UV rays of the sun.”

Heather Lysiak, Macmillan Engagement Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire, added: “Over 90% of skin cancers are preventable by adopting protective approaches to sun exposure. This is why we are working together to raise awareness to those working in the outdoor industry.

“Outdoor workers are out in the elements year-round and need to be aware of the risk and the steps they can take to protect themselves. We hope that by taking the information direct to the workforce we can help encourage people to make simple changes that might just save their lives.”

“Rachel Constable Head of Environment, Social and Governance at MKM said: “When we were approached to work with Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, we immediately took the opportunity. Learning how much more at risk those working outdoors are of skin cancer was staggering, and we knew it was important to play a role in educating our teams and customers. We are looking forward to hosting the stalls and hope we can help to make a difference and encourage people to take positive actions to reduce their risks of developing skin cancer.”

SKCIN also offers the national Sun Safe Workplaces accreditation programme. Marie Tudor, CEO said: “Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is responsible for 90% of all skin cancer cases. This puts outdoor workers in one of the highest risk groups for skin cancer. Employers of outdoor workers have a legal obligation to assess the level of risk imposed to their workers, implement a sun protection policy and provide employees with information, instruction and training.

“Our Sun Safe Workplaces accreditation programme has been specifically developed to provide employers and HSRs with all the tools and resources they need to engage, educate, empower and equip their workers and provide clear evidence of their commitment to addressing these legal obligations.”

However, it’s not just outdoor workers that are at risk of developing skin cancer. Anyone, spending any length of time outdoors needs to understand the risks and how to protect themselves.

When the UV Index reaches three and above, SKCIN recommends the following five S approach to five-star sun protection that should be used in combination to prevent sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

  • Slip on clothing – the first line of defence against UV rays
  • Slop on SPF 30+ UVA sunscreen and reapply every two hours
  • Slap on a wide brimmed had to protect the scalp and shade the face and neck
  • Slide on UV protective sunglasses to protect the eyes
  • Shade – seek shade when possible, particularly between 11am and 3pm when UV is at its strongest.

Even after taking precautions, it’s important to still know your skin and to be able to notice changes as they happen. Skin cancer can look different from one person to another. Dr Cottingham explained: “If you have an area of skin that’s sore, itchy, hurts, bleeds, crusts or scabs for four weeks or more, this could be a sign of skin cancer and it’s important to get this checked by your GP as soon as possible. Other things to look for include any small lumps that look unusual or a change to the size or shape of a mole or freckle.

“I advise checking your skin on a regular basis and if there’s something you’re not sure about, seek advice. It’s always better to be safe and cautious as the earlier cancer is detected the easier it can be to treat.”

As part of Skin Cancer Awareness Month Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance will also be running several online awareness sessions for people to find out more about skin cancer and what to look for. The sessions are free and open to anyone from the Humber and North Yorkshire area. To book a place visit the Cancer Alliance Eventbrite page.

Another handy way of detecting potential abnormalities is to download the SKCIN APP. The app provides users with a wealth of information, images, self-management tools and features to promote both the prevention and early detection of skin cancer, enabling you to confidently take charge of your skin health and surveillance.

Nurse putting patient into CT Scanner for Lung Check

Most deprived communities more likely to receive early lung cancer diagnosis thanks to NHS trucks

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks, National Campaigns

People in deprived areas are now more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at an earlier stage, thanks to the success of NHS lung trucks.

For the first time ever, new data shows more than a third of people diagnosed with lung cancer from the most deprived fifth of England were diagnosed at stage one or two in 2022 (34.5%) – up from 30% in 2019.

Lung MOTs, located in mobile trucks in supermarket carparks, launched in 2018 in areas of the country with the lowest lung cancer survival rates – and they have already made an impact on earlier diagnoses.

As part of the biggest programme to improve earlier cancer detection in health history, the NHS has now teamed up with the Roy Castle Lung Foundation on a new campaign encouraging the hundreds of thousands of people who are invited each month to take up the potentially lifesaving scan.

The campaign will be running over the coming months across social media, through online advertising and on posters in areas where lung checks are operating.

More than 300,000 (313,387) people have already taken up the offer and the trucks have diagnosed more than 1,750 (1,779) people with lung cancer. Over three-quarters (76%) were caught at stage one or two, compared with just a third caught at early stages in 2018.

People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.

Now at 43 sites across the country, the mobile trucks scan those most at risk from lung cancer, including current and ex-smokers, inviting them for an on-the-spot chest scan for those at the highest risk. Advice to help people stop smoking is also provided to those who attend.

Cancer survival is at an all-time high in England and the latest data shows the NHS is diagnosing more patients with cancer at an earlier stage than ever before, when it is easier to treat – over 100,000 (104,012) patients were diagnosed with cancer at stages one or two when it is easier to treat – the highest proportion on record.

National Director for Cancer, Dame Cally Palmer, said: “These findings are incredibly important – they show the power behind targeted health programmes with the NHS continuing its drive to detect cancers earlier by going into the heart of communities that may be less likely to come forward.

“While early diagnosis rates for cancer have traditionally been lower for deprived groups, thanks to the rollout of lung trucks, the NHS has turned a huge corner – and is now finding and treating those who would otherwise have been undetected.

“The NHS will not stop in its efforts to go out and find more cancers at an earlier point, when easier to treat, so if you have had an invite, please take it up, and as ever, if you are showing any signs of cancer, please come forward to your GP – getting checked could save your life”.

Health Minister Helen Whately said: “Catching lung cancer early saves lives, which is why we’re prioritising early diagnosis for those most at risk.

“These figures show how care closer to home for 300,000 people, using NHS lung trucks, has potentially saved over 1,750 lives.

“We’re laser-focused on fighting cancer on all fronts – prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, backed up with funding and research – and alongside these mobile trucks we have also opened 100 community diagnostic centres, which have delivered over 3.6 million additional tests, checks and scans, including lung checks”.

Chief Executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Paula Chadwick, said: “It is truly heartening to see the wonderful progress being made in the early detection of lung cancer because of the targeted lung health check programme and these checks are allowing us to get ahead of lung cancer for the first time, catching the disease at the earliest opportunity, often before symptoms even start, and treating it with an aim to cure.

“So many people have already benefitted from having a lung health check but there are also a lot of people who have been invited and not taken up the opportunity, so I urge anyone who receives an invitation to have the check – even if you feel well, even if you have no symptoms, even if you’re convinced there’s nothing wrong! You have been invited for a reason and when it comes to lung cancer, it is always best to check”.

Smoking causes more than seven in ten lung cancer cases in the UK. Previous trials have shown that CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 26% in men and between 39% and 61% in women.

Not only do the lung trucks scan for cancer, but they have also identified thousands of people with other undiagnosed conditions including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, enabling them to access the treatment they need earlier, and helping to prevent potential hospitalisations.

Thanks to awareness campaigns and early diagnosis drives, the NHS has been seeing and treating record numbers of people for cancer, with over 2.8 million getting checked for cancer in 2022, and over 320,000 people received treatment for cancer in the same year – up on 2.35 million checks and 8,000 treatments in the same period before the pandemic.

The NHS has also made considerable strides in bringing down the 62-day wait cancer backlog with 4,868 fewer people (19,027) waiting in March 19 compared to the same period the month before (23,874).

The main symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • a cough that does not go away after three weeks
  • a long-standing cough that gets worse
  • chest infections that keep coming back
  • coughing up blood
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • persistent breathlessness
  • persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

The Lung Health Checks are now available in North East Lincolnshire. For more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme in the Humber and North Yorkshire region please visit

Nurse putting patient into CT scanner for Lung Health Check




A patient about to have their lungs checked

picture of the words life saving poo spelt out in toilet roll

Cancer Alliance urges people to recognise bowel cancer signs and symptoms and take up screening

By National Campaigns

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, which works to improve cancer services, care and outcomes across Humber and North Yorkshire, is calling on local people to recognise the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and to take up screening opportunities if invited.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK yet data shows fewer than four in 10 people are diagnosed at an early stage when it is easier to treat, and one in three people who are sent a bowel cancer screening test in England do not complete it.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “Detecting bowel cancer at an early stage can make you nine times more likely to be successfully treated. It’s therefore important that people recognise the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and they take up screening when invited.

Image of Dr Dan Cottingham sat in a GP office wearing a pink shirt, NHS lanyard and Macmillan name badge. Dan is wearing glasses and smiling. There is a computer screen and book shelf behind him.

“With almost 43,000 people diagnosed in the UK each year, knowing the signs and symptoms to look for and speaking to your GP could make a big difference and lead to bowel cancer being caught earlier when it’s easier to treat.”


Symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • changes in your poo or constipation
  • needing to poo more or less than usual, blood in your poo
  • bleeding from your bottom of feeling like you need to poo even if you have just been to the toilet
  • stomach pain
  • bloating
  • losing weight without trying
  • feeling very tired for no reason

Lindsey’s story

Lindsey, from Hull, was 48 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2021 after being admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain and a perforated bowel.

Lindsey said: “I’d been experiencing bowel symptoms that were unusual for me for a few weeks, which I put down to stress. However, during March and April 2021 the symptoms I was experiencing suddenly got worse and I started to develop a feeling of pressure and an ache in my back.

“I tried different medications prescribed by my GP, but nothing seemed to help. I was in so much pain I knew something wasn’t right and blood tests eventually showed some abnormalities.”

That weekend, before Lindsey had chance to speak to her GP about her results, she was admitted to hospital with a perforated bowel. She had urgent surgery and started chemotherapy a few weeks later. Lindsey’s chemotherapy successfully reduced her tumour and in December 2021 she took the decision to have further surgery to remove her colon to reduce the risk of her cancer returning.

Lindsey added: “I am living proof that if something doesn’t feel right it’s so important to speak to your GP and to make sure that all the necessary checks are carried out. If a problem is caught early your chances of making a full recovery can be much better.”

Gary’s story

Gary, a Royal Navy veteran from East Yorkshire, was diagnosed with bowel cancer following routine screening in 2018, despite having no symptoms and feeling fit and well in himself. Following surgery and chemotherapy to treat his cancer Gary is now urging others to take up their screening.

“Getting that letter through the post inviting me for the screening was like winning the lottery,” Gary said. “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life. If you’re asked to take part in screening, get over the embarrassment and just do it. I thought I was fit and healthy, I had no symptoms at all when I had my test, but bowel screening saved my life. If I can help to save just one other person by telling my story, it will be worth it.”

Gary, centre in darl suit with white short and red tie, with his wife and daughters stood at each side

Dr Cottingham said: “Your next poo could save your life. If you receive an NHS bowel screening kit, put it by the loo, don’t put it off. One small sample can detect signs of bowel cancer before you know anything is wrong.

For more information on bowel cancer, visit

picture of a man sat on a bed coughing with wording about a cough lasting three weeks or more being a warning sign

NHS launches awareness campaign in Humber and North Yorkshire for England’s most deadly cancer

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, National Campaigns

The NHS in Humber and North Yorkshire is encouraging people with symptoms such as a long-standing persistent cough, to contact their GP practice for potentially lifesaving checks in its latest campaign to catch lung cancer earlier when it is easier to treat.

The launch of the latest Help Us Help You campaign comes after figures suggest that people at risk of lung cancer may not be coming forward for care despite lung cancer being the biggest cause of cancer deaths in England.

While most cancer referrals quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels after the first wave of COVID-19, lung cancer referrals only returned to pre-pandemic levels in May 2022.

Cancer health chiefs are warning the public to contact their GP team if they have had a persistent cough for longer than three weeks or notice other symptoms like coughing up blood or persistent breathlessness.

Lung cancer is one of the most serious type of cancers and last year was the fifth biggest cause of death in England accounting for 26,410 deaths.

Thanks to national awareness campaigns and early diagnosis initiatives, one in every four GP referrals are now for suspected cancer and the NHS is seeing record numbers of people getting checked for cancer. Over 5.3 million people were referred between June 2021 and May 2022, and over 670,000 have started treatment since March 2020.

The latest campaign will target the groups of people most at risk including over 60s, as well as people who are often more reluctant to visit their GP practice, which is critical to getting an early diagnosis.

Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer said: “It is vital that people stay alert against suspected lung cancer symptoms, so if you have a continuous cough or breathlessness, don’t ignore or assume it’s something else, please visit your GP and get it checked out – it probably won’t be cancer but catching it early can help save lives”.

The NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign will run across TV, video-on-demand services such as ITV Hub, radio, and social media over the next few months to spread awareness of lung cancer symptoms.

Cally Palmer, NHS England National Cancer Director said: “We know for a fact most people who get diagnosed with lung cancer early go on to survive so it is imperative that people are aware of the symptoms and come forward as quickly as possible.

“The NHS is here to help and our services are open so people should not hesitate to come forward if they notice potential lung cancer symptoms”.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “The ‘Help Us Help You’ initiative is empowering people to come forward for screening – particularly for lung cancer.

“I want to thank all those that continue to be involved in this life-saving campaign, which aims to increase the number of cancer patients diagnosed at earlier stages from half to three-quarters by 2028.

“If you have any of the key symptoms set out by the NHS, I urge you to see your GP without delay to get checked out – early diagnosis is absolutely vital to beat this disease”.

The NHS is also working with a leading lung cancer charity – the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation to run local awareness raising campaigns, as well as working with the foundation to rapidly expand the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme, currently in operation in Hull, which screen people at risk of developing lung cancer.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: “It is absolutely vital that if you are experiencing symptoms like a persistent cough or shortness of breath that you take action and contact your GP team. Don’t put it off. Don’t presume it’s nothing to worry about. Don’t worry about bothering your doctors. It is always best to check because if it is lung cancer, catching it early can make all the difference.”

Hear from local Hull residents who’ve benefitted from the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme and caught symptoms early enough for effective treatment.

The new lung cancer campaign is the latest drive by the NHS to deliver world-class cancer care and restore cancer services following the pandemic.

Earlier this year NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard announced a revolutionary drug, atezolizumab, for lung cancer patients thanks to an NHS England brokered deal which helps reduce the chance of lung cancer reappearing or death by 34%.

The NHS this year also secured access to durvalumab, which can help double how long somebody can survive an aggressive form of lung cancer, as well as, mobocertinib, which will help hundreds of patients tackle a rare form of lung cancer which can’t be removed by surgery.

Last month (July 2022), the NHS announced a breakthrough treatment for people with respiratory cancer, which is set to benefit around 1,000 patients a year in England.

Back in March an NHS campaign was backed by Boxers, Love Island and Killing Eve stars, to encourage people to come forward to get checked if they have potential cancer symptoms.

The NHS has also awarded £10 million to pioneering new cancer innovations to help improve cancer diagnosis across England.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to increasing the proportion of cancers caught early, when they are easier to treat, from half to three in four.


picture of a male and female nurse with information about National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Day

National Clinical Nurse Specialist Awareness Day

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, National Campaigns

Tuesday 15th March is National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist awareness day. We are supporting the #NationalCancerCNSday campaign to help shine a spotlight on the role which is often referred to as a lifeline for patients and their families. Here you can meet some of the CNS’s that are helping to care for people affected by cancer across Humber, Coast and Vale.

Photo of Louise who is looking at the camera and smiling. Her hair is tied back and she is wearing a blue nurses uniform.

Louise Salt

Louise Salt

Colorectal/Stoma Clinical Nurse Specialist,
Diana Princess of Wales Hospital

How long have you been in the NHS?

I have worked for the NHS for 41 years.

Why did you want to join the NHS?

I love and am very interested in people. Everyone has a story and different life experiences that makes them who they are. It is a pleasure and privilege to help/assist them and their families when they need medical help. I believe access to a great health service and care should be available to everyone regardless of means, that is why I choose to work for the NHS rather than the private sector.

What does your role involve?

At present I help with the five year follow up of patients who had bowel cancer. I also see patients and their families at cancer diagnosis, surgery and throughout the journey of having had or living with bowel cancer. Also I do some work with patients who have had or having a stoma.

What is the best part of your job?

It is always having contact with patients and their families, I am also fortunate to work as part of the colorectal team who I believe are brilliant and share the same ideals as me of giving the best care we can and aiming for the best outcome and experience for the patient and their families facing a difficult time.

What does caring for people affected by cancer mean to you?

The word cancer still naturally conjures up imminent or impending death for most people. Part of my role is helping people to adjust to having a cancer diagnosis and explaining how we can, in a lot of situations, attempt to rid them of it completely. My role involves supporting people to continue living their lives and finding normality in everyday life. The family and friends around them give the majority of support, but we are also there to help when needed.


Photo of Vicky sat beside a desk. She is wearing a blue nurses uniform, glasses and a face mask. Her hair is tied back and she is looking at the camera.

Vicky Dixon

Vicky Dixon
Haematology Advanced CNS at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is helping people cope through and with very difficult situations. Helping and caring for people with cancer gives you a constant sense of perspective and a strong belief and strength in the power of kindness and compassion.


Lynne Buckley

Lynn Buckley

Macmillan Gynae-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Advance Nurse Practitioner,
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

How long have you been in the NHS?

I have worked in the NHS for 37 years.

Why did you want to join the NHS?

It’s hard to remember that long ago, but my mum was a nurse and I followed in her footsteps.

What does your role involve?

I support women and their families through cancer diagnosis, treatments and beyond. Every day is different, most days involve breaking bad news, managing expectations, ensuring that women have the information they need to be able to make decisions about their care and that their holistic needs are met.  I work closely with a much wider team of health care professionals across multidisciplinary and multiservice boundaries.  I also contribute to developing services and guidelines.

What is the best part of your job?

Knowing that you have done your best for that person in front of you and they feel valued and that their needs have been met.

What does caring for people affected by cancer mean to you?

I feel privileged to be part of the cancer pathway and hope that my input has made things a little easier for people affected by cancer.

Photo of Claire Wise. Claire has blonde hair and is looking at the camera, smiling

Claire Wise

Claire Wise
Gynaecology Clinical Nurse Specialist at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

What is the best part of your job?
“The best part of my job is being the constant for someone and building supportive relationships.”

picture of a male and female nurse with information about National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Day
Picture of a doctor sat working on a computer in an office

NHS seeks views on proposed new standards for cancer

By Involvement Opportunities, National Campaigns

The NHS is launching a consultation on proposed new standards that will help diagnose more cancers earlier and save more lives.

Developed with clinical leaders, the proposals – supported by NHS staff as well as patient groups and cancer charities – aim to simplify and update cancer standards, based on the recommendations of the Independent Cancer Taskforce.

Patients, clinicians and the public will be asked to share their views on the proposed standards over the next month, with a report setting out the changes published today.

Cancer currently has a complex set of nine separate performance standards, with different targets covering different routes into the system, for example, screening or a GP referral.

The new plan proposes ensuring patients have the same opportunity for faster diagnosis and treatment, including:

  • The 28-day faster diagnosis standard, which would see patients who have been urgently referred, have breast symptoms, or have been picked up through screening, have cancer ruled out or receive a diagnosis within 28 days.
  • A 62-day referral to treatment standard, meaning patients who receive a cancer diagnosis will start treatment within nine weeks from the date of referral.
  • A 31-day decision to treat to treatment standard, so that cancer patients receive their first treatment within a month of a decision to treat following diagnosis.

These new standards aim to make diagnosis and treatment timelines easier to understand for people with suspected cancer and their families, while also helping to diagnose cancers earlier and save more lives.

Before the faster diagnosis standard was introduced, access standards for cancer have remained unchanged since 2009. The current two-week wait target sets no expectation of when patients should receive test results or actually get a confirmed diagnosis.

Cancer care has been prioritised throughout the pandemic with the latest data showing the number of people getting checked for cancer increased by over half a million (512,110) in one year between December 2020 and December 2021.

In December alone, there were over 215,000 urgent referrals for cancer and more than nine out of 10 people started treatment within one month.

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS National Director for Cancer said: “Access standards have been key to improving timeliness of treatment for people with cancer since they were first introduced in 2000.

“As we see advances in diagnosis and treatments for cancer, it is only right that these standards are modernised – so that we can ensure patients are diagnosed more quickly and are given the treatment they need as soon as possible, helping us save even more lives.

“These proposed changes are an important part of improving cancer care and so from today, the NHS will be inviting views from patients, staff and the public”.

Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer for NHS England, said: “We know that people having tests for possible cancer want to know the results quickly, and updating the standards to reflect this will help us to make sure we are able to deliver the best possible care.

“We are encouraging colleagues in NHS cancer services to share their views on the consultation to ensure we have standards that are better for people with cancer”.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “As part of our 10-Year Cancer Plan, we want to offer patients the best possible care and treatment.

“These proposals will help us speed up diagnosis times and treatment, and save more lives.

“The NHS wants to hear from as many people as possible – and is seeking advice from patients, staff and the public. Please, make your voices heard”.

Under the new proposals, the NHS would focus on the time from referral to people finding out their results within a maximum of 28 days. This faster diagnosis standard has a clearer focus on measuring and incentivising early diagnosis, rather than just time to first be seen.

Areas where the new standards have been tested have shown that performance against the 62-day referral to treatment standard was significantly higher (74.9%) than the control group (71.7%) when using the new measures.

Proposals are in addition to the target announced in the elective recovery plan, published last month, which outlined the NHS aim to return the number of people waiting more than 62 days from an urgent referral back to pre-pandemic levels by March 2023.

Catherine Harper-Wynne, Chair of the Breast Cancer Faster Diagnosis Group, said: “The proposed update in standards provides a better reflection of our current clinical approach and allows for greater flexibility to offer patients the most efficient route to diagnosis, allowing us to start treatment as quickly as possible. For breast cancer patients, there is evidence, from the pilot already completed, that a higher proportion of patients had cancer ruled out within 28 days”.

Jane Lyons, CEO of charity Cancer52, said: “People with rare and less common cancers often have vague symptoms and it can take longer for their cancer to be diagnosed. So a commitment to a diagnosis in 28 days for all cancers, including those that are more challenging to diagnose, is a good step forward. Earlier diagnosis can mean more people start treatment sooner and more lives will be saved, and we support work to help the NHS meet its ambitions to diagnose more cancers faster and earlier”.

Patients have told the NHS that the focus on achieving a rapid diagnosis or ruling out of cancer is the right one, and is more meaningful to patients than the timing of a first appointment.

Anyone wishing to submit their views to the consultation can do so on our website or by email to [email protected].

image saying Find the 14,000 men

Find the missing men prostate cancer awareness

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, National Campaigns

Why we’re backing Prostate Cancer UK & NHS England’s new campaign

Prostate cancer is more common than you think. It’s the most common cancer in men. 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer. That could be a dad, uncle, brother, partner or best friend. It’s why Prostate Cancer UK and the NHS have joined forces to launch a campaign to find the 14,000 men who have not started treatment for prostate cancer since the beginning of the pandemic.

Early diagnosis saves lives

New figures show that prostate cancer accounts for a third of those not treated for cancer compared to before the pandemic. Prostate cancer is very treatable if caught early. It’s important for men to know their risk because early prostate cancer often has no symptoms.

Joe Appiah, from Bromley, was diagnosed with prostate cancer during the pandemic. He didn’t have symptoms. “I’d seen adverts about prostate cancer, but I didn’t know how badly black men were affected, or how to get a test. I didn’t have symptoms and wasn’t aware of any family history. So until my friend told me to speak to my GP, I didn’t think about it – especially with Covid too. My friend saved my life. Thanks to him it was caught just in time.”

Check your risk and share the risk checker with loved ones

It takes 30 seconds to complete and could save lives. Access the risk checker here.

Access the campaign communications toolkit here.

“Cervical screening saves lives” says national campaign

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, National Campaigns

Today the Department of Health and Social Care, together with NHS England and NHS Improvement, are launching a Help Us Help You – Cervical Screening Campaign, to highlight the benefits of cervical screening and remind people that that it can help stop cancer before it starts. The campaign encourages those eligible for screening – women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 – to respond to their cervical screening invitation letters and to book an appointment at their GP practice if they missed their last one.

A door with a letter coming through the letterbox. The text underneath the letter reads 'don't ignore your cervical screening invite'.Two women die every day from cervical cancer in England. Yet it is one of the most preventable cancers and getting screened can help stop it before it starts. Screening helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV which causes nearly all cervical cancers. This is the best way to find out who is at higher risk of developing the cervical cell changes that over time could potentially lead to cervical cancer.

Any cervical cell changes can be treated, preventing cervical cancer. Don’t be alarmed if you have HPV as it does not mean you have cervical cancer – it’s a common virus that most people will get at some point in their lives.

It has been estimated that in England, cervical screening prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths and that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer deaths could be prevented.

Women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 are eligible for screening. Those registered as female with their GP practice are invited for routine screening every three years if they are aged 25-49 and every five years if they are aged 50-64. Those registered as male will need to request an appointment from their GP or a local sexual health clinic.

The campaign provides information and tips to those who may be worried or embarrassed about cervical screening. These include:

  • For most, cervical screening tests are not painful. But if you are worried that you may find the test uncomfortable, remember you are in control and can ask to stop at any time.
  • Discuss your concerns with your nurse, you can ask for a smaller speculum or the nurse can advise you on different positions to make it more comfortable.
  • If you want to make sure a woman carries out your test, you can ask for this when you make your appointment.
  • You might want to wear a skirt or dress or a long jumper, which you can keep on during the test. If you forget to do this, don’t worry – you’ll be provided with a disposable modesty sheet to cover yourself.
  • Ask your nurse about breathing exercises, as these can help. Take a podcast or music to listen to – this may help you relax or distract you.
  • Cervical screening only lasts a few minutes, and you only have to go once every 3 or 5 years depending on your age. It’s a few minutes that could save your life.

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