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Macmillan calls for urgent action on cancer treatment waiting times

Macmillan Wales has warned that cancer treatment waiting times continue to be missed, after 132 people were left facing delays during November 2018.

The latest figures, published yesterday (24 January), reveal that targets for both urgent and non-urgent cancer treatment routes were missed.

Richard Pugh, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said:

“These figures provide further evidence that the pressure on cancer services is truly beginning to bite.

“During the 12 months to November 2018, 7,920 patients newly diagnosed with cancer via the urgent suspected cancer route started treatment – an increase of 33.9 per cent, or 2,006 patients, from the same period 5 years ago.

“There is clear evidence that the demand for cancer treatment is and will continue to grow, and the worrying consistency with which targets are being missed clearly shows a system struggling to keep up with demand for services.

“We must remember that at the heart of these figures are hundreds of cancer patients anxiously waiting for referral for diagnosis or for treatment to start – more must be done to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment for everyone with cancer in Wales.

“Wales has entered 2019 with the ambition of becoming the first UK nation to have a single cancer pathway in an effort to speed up diagnosis and improve outcomes.

“We hope this development will highlight where long waits are happening in the system and help deliver real improvements within cancer services in Wales.”