Rise in Referrals for 2 Week Cancer Waits

Our Oncology Service has seen an increase of 809 people within the 2 week wait cancer referrals across all cancers (8,069 in 2012/13 up from 7,260 2011/12) comparing April – October in both years.  

However despite the increase in referrals we have picked up 40 fewer cancers (878 this year, 918 last year) therefore the malignancy rate has fallen from 13% last year to 11% this year.  By individual cancer site, the pattern is mixed but the most significant in terms of numbers is for breast cancer with 33 more referrals this year (1,265 vs 1,232) and 37 fewer malignancies (142 vs 179) which is a 3% fall in malignancy rates.

At the same time as the increase in referrals, there has been a worrying increase in the number of people who don’t attend these appointments.

Medical Director and Oncologist, Dr Sean Elyan said: “We are very keen that patients are told why they are being referred to be seen within two weeks so that they understand the urgency.”