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Breast Cancer

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Government is doing to ensure that women with breast cancer are not waiting longer than the four weeks between being told that they need radiotherapy and starting their treatment. [110744]

A waiting time target of a maximum one month from diagnosis to first treatment was introduced for all cases of breast cancer in 2001. In the last quarter—October to December 2002—96.5 per cent. of women received their first treatment within a month of diagnosis with breast cancer. Separate data on waiting times for radiotherapy are not collected centrally. In order to tackle radiotherapy waiting times, we are making unprecedented investment in new radiotherapy facilities, streamlining care processes through the cancer services collaborative and working to best utilise the current workforce and to increase the number of staff in post and in training