Almost half of North West cancer patients are diagnosed too late to give them the best chance of survival, according to new calculations by Cancer Research UK.
In just one year, around 16,200 sufferers in the region are diagnosed late (at stage 3 or 4). And of these, around 9,400 are diagnosed at the most advanced stage – stage 4 – leaving them with fewer treatment options and less chance of beating their disease.
There are lots of things that can influence how early or late someone is diagnosed but workforce shortages are a large contributor, the charity says.
Cancer Research says there is a “desperate shortage” of NHS medical staff trained to carry out tests that diagnose cancer, meaning that efforts by the health system to diagnose and treat cancer more swiftly are being thwarted.
This is why Cancer Research UK is calling on local people to take action by adding their names to the charity’s online petition urging the Government to train and employ more NHS staff to diagnose and treat cancer early.
Last year, the Government made an important pledge to improve the number of people diagnosed with early stage cancer – a jump from two in four diagnosed early to three in four by 2028. This could save thousands of lives. Cancer Research UK has calculated that to reach this target, an extra 100,000 patients must be diagnosed early in England each year by 2028.
Sign the petition at www.cruk.org/shouldertoshoulder