Theresa May, the prime minister, has announced a new strategy to improve early diagnosis of cancer. Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Mrs May claimed that the approach could save up to 55,000 lives.
'A new cancer strategy, funded through our 70th birthday investment, will form a central part of our long-term plan for the NHS,' said Mrs May. 'The key to boosting your chance of surviving cancer is early diagnosis. Five-year survival rates for bowel cancer are over 90% if caught early, but less than 10% if diagnosed late.’
Referencing her goddaughter who died due to cancer last year, Mrs May emphasised her commitment to tackling the condition, saying: ‘ Through our cancer strategy, we will increase the early detection rate from one-in-two today, to-three-in four by 2028. We will do it by lowering the age at which we screen for bowel cancer from 60 to 50. By investing in the very latest scanners. And by building more Rapid Diagnostic Centres – one stop-shops that help people get treatment quicker. This will be a step-change in how we diagnose cancer. It will mean that by 2028, 55,000 more people will be alive five years after their diagnosis compared to today. Every life saved means precious extra years with friends and family.’