Cancer treatment times improve but half of patients still face anxious delays in Wales
Cancer treatment times have improved in Wales, according to new data released, although Macmillan Cancer Support has warned that too many patients still face delays in receiving life-saving treatment.
In February, 52.5% of patients were treated within the target time frame, up from 50.1% in January, which was the worst performance on record.
Despite the increase, almost half of patients with cancer are still not receiving treatment on time, leading to significant anxiety and emotional turmoil.
Macmillan Cancer Support has expressed concern over the variation in treatment times for different types of cancer, with nearly three-quarters of people with head and neck cancer facing delays in treatment.
In addition, only around a third of patients with lower gastrointestinal and gynaecological cancers received their treatment on time.
Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, praised the improvement but said that national targets have never been met and there has been a downward trend in recent years.
He called for sustained and urgent action against the new cancer services improvement plan to meet the ambitious target of treating 80% of people with cancer within 62 days.
“While we are still very far away from this target, today’s figures at least represent a welcome step in the right direction,”
Pugh said. “Macmillan continues to do everything we can to help, and we are here for anyone with cancer and their loved ones. For advice, information or a chat, you can call us free on 0808 808 0000 or visit macmillan.org.uk.”
Cancer treatment waiting times have been an ongoing concern in Wales, with targets repeatedly missed in recent years.
While the new data provides a glimmer of hope, it is clear that more action is needed to ensure that all patients receive timely treatment, without the added burden of anxiety and stress. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com