[holding answer 5 March 2007]: During the most recently available period (October to December 2006) 162,855 people were referred urgently for suspected cancer by their general practitioner. 20,366 patients began treatment for a diagnosed cancer following an urgent referral for suspected cancer during the same period. However these two figures do not refer to the same group of patients because a proportion of the patients beginning their treatment within the period will have been referred prior to October 2006.
[holding answer 5 March 2007]: Data are not held centrally for those patients who were not urgently referred by their general practitioner (GP) for suspected cancer. For the most recently available period (October to December 2006) published data show that of all patients treated 39.7 per cent. were referred urgently for suspected cancer by their GP, and 60.3 per cent. were referred from another source, or routinely referred (this will include referrals from NHS screening services).
We do hold information specifically relating to screening services. For breast screening, during the year 2004-05 (the most recently available) statistics show that 71,363 women were referred for an assessment by a local breast screening service. Of these patients 71,363 were subsequently diagnosed with cancer.
For cervical screening, during the year 2005-06 (the most recently available) information held by the Department indicates that 129,207 women were referred for a colposcopy examination by a local cervical screening service. Of these women 857 were subsequently diagnosed with a severe or invasive carcinoma.