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Breast Cancer Now respond to Wales Cancer Networks’ Cancer Improvement Plan

Responding, Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Today’s publication of Wales Cancer Network’s Cancer 2023-26 Improvement Plan is hugely welcome, particularly its recognition that the needs of people living with secondary breast cancer must be met, and services designed accordingly.

“In particular, we applaud the commitment to supporting healthcare professionals effectively and confidently diagnose potential cases of secondary breast cancer, as early as possible, and to capturing accurate data at all stages of secondary breast cancer treatment, ahead of the national audit.

“We’re deeply concerned however by the Welsh government’s lack of ambition on increasing the speed of diagnosis for breast cancer patients; an 80% target for patients starting treatment within 62-days of initial referral by 2026 risks normalising poor performance and long waiting times.

“The Plan also fails to set out how it will improve access or uptake to breast screening and omits reference to recent changes to open invite letters for women aged 50-53, despite data suggesting that this model can adversely affect uptake and widen health inequalities.

“Implementation of this Plan must include an evaluation of breast screening invite models to reverse long-term decline in uptake. The Welsh Government and Wales Cancer Network must also commit to specific, progressive targets for breast cancer to ensure timely diagnosis, along with a fully funded long-term workforce plan needed to realise successful delivery of many components of this Plan.

“We now look forward to supporting the Welsh Government, NHS Executive, Wales Cancer Network and Health Boards to work together to deliver on these ambitions for anyone affected by breast cancer.”


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