A record 320,000 people in England started cancer treatment last year, NHS figures show as waiting list grew longer than ever
- More than 320,000 people had cancer care in the 12 months up to November
- The figure was up by more than 8,000 on the same period from November 2018
- READ MORE: Treatment that ‘resets’ immunity gives blood cancer patients hope
A record number of cancer patients received treatment last year, but waiting lists were also the longest ever, NHS figures show.
More than 320,000 people received cancer care in the 12 months from November 2021, up by more than 8,000 on the same period from November 2018 – the last pre-pandemic comparison, the health service said.
Record numbers also had potentially life-saving cancer checks last year, with more than 2.8million people seen by the NHS – up almost a fifth from before Covid, when 2.35million were tested.
More than 10,000 people were checked every day in the 12 months from November 2021, and around 6 per cent of tests resulted in a cancer diagnosis.
More than 320,000 people received cancer care in the 12 months from November 2021 in England, up by more than 8,000 on the same period from November 2018 — the last pre-pandemic comparison, the NHS says
This comes amid record waiting lists for routine treatment across all illnesses, including cancer.
Some 239,180 urgent cancer referrals were made by GPs in England in October, the highest number for that month in records going back to 2009.
This is down from 251,977 in September, but the sixth highest monthly number on record.
Dame Cally Palmer, national cancer director for NHS England, described the record numbers of patients being treated for cancer as ‘important progress’.
She said: ‘NHS staff have been working incredibly hard over the past year to recover from the pandemic and it’s thanks to our campaigning efforts and early diagnosis drives, alongside the courage of people like Dame Deborah James encouraging people to come forward, that we’ve seen and treated record numbers of people.’
The NHS has recently doubled spending on cancer awareness campaigns, and medics continue to encourage people to come forward for checks if invited or if experiencing potential symptoms.
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