For the first time last year, the NHS in England carried out more than two million checks on people who feared they might have cancer.
In 2018, patients underwent a record 2.2 million cancer checks following urgent referral by their GP, almost 6,000 a day or more than four every minute. That was an increase of almost a quarter of a million on the 1.9 million people who were seen in 2017.
Record numbers of people also received treatment for cancer, with 308,058 receiving a first treatment in 2018, almost 13,000 more than in 2017 and the first time the number has topped 300,000.
Cancer survival is at an all time high with new figures showing 10,000 more patients surviving for at least 12 months after diagnosis than five years earlier. However, the NHS Long Term Plan aims to increasing the proportion of cancers caught early from half to three quarters, an improvement that will save up to 55,000 more lives each year.
Full story at NHS England
NICE | March 2019 | Lung cancer: diagnosis and management NICE guideline
This guideline covers diagnosing and managing non-small-cell and small-cell lung cancer. It aims to improve outcomes for patients by ensuring that the most effective tests and treatments are used, and that people have access to suitable palliative care and follow-up (Source: NICE).
Full details from NICE
Early diagnosis and the cancer workforce in the NHS long-term plan | House of Commons Library
This debate pack provides some background information on early diagnosis and the cancer workforce in the NHS long-term plan, and brings together related news articles, press releases and parliamentary material.
Full document available here
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced plans for the earlier diagnosis of cancer.
As part of the long-term plan for the NHS, a package of measures will be rolled out across the country with the aim of seeing 3 out of 4 of all cancers detected at an early stage by 2028. The plan will:
- overhaul screening programmes
- provide new investment in state-of-the-art technology to transform the process of diagnosis
- boost research and innovation
Screening programmes will be made more accessible and easier to use. They will be based on the latest breakthrough research and technology. Those at risk will be able to benefit from options including:
- new tests for bowel cancer
- mobile lung screening units
- the roll-out of rapid diagnostic centres across the country with same-day testing
Full story: Government announces plans for earlier diagnosis for cancer patients
NHS England has published three rapid cancer diagnostic and assessment pathways. These documents set out how diagnosis within 14 days and diagnosis within 28 days can be achieved for the colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer pathways:
Implementing a timed colorectal cancer diagnostic pathway:
This handbook sets out how the 28 day standard can be achieved in colorectal cancer patients, in preparation for full monitoring against the standard from April 2020.
Implementing a timed lung cancer diagnostic pathway:
This handbook sets out how the 28 day standard can be achieved for lung cancer patients, in preparation for full monitoring against the standard from April 2020.
Implementing a timed prostate cancer diagnostic pathway:
This handbook sets out how the 28 day standard can be achieved for prostate cancer patients, in preparation for full monitoring against the standard from April 2020.
NHS ‘one stop shop’ for prostate cancer means faster and more accurate diagnosis | NHS England
The NHS is using cutting edge technology to help slash diagnosis times for prostate cancer from six weeks to one day in a world-leading new approach that virtually eliminates the risk of deadly sepsis.
The new scanning and diagnosis method means a ‘one-stop-shop’ for suspected prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
The NHS is determined to cut the mortality rate for prostate cancer in the same way that has seen breast cancer rates decline by 10%.
The usual process is an MRI scan followed by a biopsy where around a dozen samples may have to be taken with a needle through the rectum, in order to locate suspect growths on the prostate.
Under the new ‘rapid pathway’ approach, which is being developed in three hospitals across West London, men have a scan, get their results and can have any necessary biopsy, using new FUSION technology, in one day, rather than multiple outpatient visits over four to six weeks.
Full story at NHS England
Researchers have developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer | Via ScienceDaily | Science
A single blood test has been developed that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer. The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The test is aimed at screening for eight common cancer types that account for more than 60 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. Five of the cancers covered by the test currently have no screening test.
The test was evaluated on 1,005 patients with nonmetastatic, stages I to III cancers of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectum, lung or breast. The median overall sensitivity, or the ability to find cancer, was 70 percent and ranged from a high of 98 percent for ovarian cancer to a low of 33 percent for breast cancer. For the five cancers that have no screening tests — ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers — sensitivity ranged from 69 percent to 98 percent.
Full story at ScienceDaily
Full reference: Cohen, J. D. et al. | Detection and localization of surgically resectable cancers with a multi-analyte blood test | Science | 18 Jan 2018