Stay in touch
We'd love to keep in touch about news, events and how you can get involved. To hear from us, please sign up below.
NHS waiting times data from May 2020 shows:
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity, said:
"These latest figures paint an incredibly concerning picture of the potentially devastating impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
“While the number of people being referred by their GP is starting to recover from the major drop at the peak of the pandemic, we are still some way from the figures returning to what we would normally expect to see. It’s so important women continue to check their breasts regularly and know that they can and should get in touch with their GP surgery urgently if they notice any unusual changes in their breasts. While most breast changes won’t be cancer, the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is to be successful.
“Worryingly, more breast cancer patients are now waiting longer than the 31-day target from being diagnosed to starting their treatment. As the NHS works through the potential influx of referrals in the coming months, our fear is that we may see these delays in starting breast cancer treatment continue to grow.
“We urge the Government and NHS England to set out a comprehensive plan to ensure all cancer services can fully recover and resume. This includes ensuring that anyone whose appointment to see a specialist has been delayed is monitored and followed up. To catch-up on the backlog, we also need to see plans to ensure there will be sufficient capacity in the already stretched workforce to meet this huge increase in demand. Combined with the suspension of the breast screening programme in many areas, we are really concerned about the pent-up demand for both diagnostics and treatment that these low figures suggest. It is essential we do all we can to minimise delays."