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Breast Cancer: Health Services

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to (a) promote for the early diagnosis and fast treatment of breast cancer and (b) ensure adequacy of breast cancer services in each primary care trust area. (193068)

The Cancer Reform Strategy, published last December, contains a number of initiatives under the National Awareness and early Diagnosis initiative to promote early diagnosis and improve the treatment of breast cancer. These include:

patients with breast problems being referred to a cancer specialist within two weeks, whether or not cancer is suspected;

the breast-screening programme being extended to women aged 47 to 73 years;

working at a community level to promote better public awareness of cancer symptoms;

carrying out a regular national survey of cancer symptom awareness to gain a better understanding of the delays in patient diagnosis; and

carrying out a national audit in primary care of all patients diagnosed with cancer.

To ensure equality of treatment of all cancers we are developing a national cancer equality initiative involving key stakeholders.

More detailed information on these initiatives can be found at: