Melanie Sturtevant, associate director of policy, evidence and influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“We’re deeply concerned by the huge number of breast cancer patients in July who did not start their treatment within 62 days from cancer first being suspected and how much waiting times vary across Wales.
“Immense pressures on breast cancer services are leading to unacceptable delays in patients being diagnosed and starting the best treatment promptly. We must see urgent strategic and long-term investment in staff and resources across the entire breast cancer diagnostic pathway to ensure the cancer waiting time target of 80% is met by March 2026.
“Looking to the future it’s vital we continue to increase the level of ambition in these targets for breast cancer. Only then will we guarantee that across Wales everyone is diagnosed and starts treatment as quickly as possible.”
Notes to editors
 The percentage of patients starting their first definitive treatment in July 2023 within 62 days of first being suspected of cancer was 61.5%.
 The Wales Cancer Network in the ‘A Cancer Improvement Plan for NHS Wales 2023-2026' set out a target of 80% compliance against the Single Cancer Pathway by 2026.