Breast cancer screening levels among UK's highest

BREAST cancer screening figures for the region are among the highest in the country, a new report reveals.

Naomi Gornall

BREAST cancer screening figures for the region are among the highest in the country, a new report reveals.

More than 81% of those eligible in Suffolk and north east Essex were screened for breast cancer, which is in the top quartile in the country.

The figures, which were published yesterdayas part of the second annual report for the government's Cancer Reform Strategy, also showed that both Suffolk Primary Care Trust and North East Essex PCT had some of the lowest cancer death rates in the UK.

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The strategy, which was published in 2007, sets out all the improvements that should be implemented in cancer care over the next five years.

Although nationally survival rates are improving and mortality rates are falling, this year the government decided to publish individual PCT statistics to identify where action needed to be taken.

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Hossein Khaled, lead for screening at NHS Suffolk, said: “Overall we're very pleased that people in Suffolk are coming forward to be screened for these cancers. For individuals, early detection is always important. For public health professionals and clinicians screening can give an indication of the picture across the county.

“Across the board our screening coverage is very good, and we want to keep making improvements over the next year for the people of Suffolk. We'll be putting in place further initiatives to enable us to do that, and we'd also urge anyone that is invited to attend for screening to participate.”

Helen Hughes, interim deputy director of business delivery and commissioning at NHS North East Essex, said: “Developing cancer services is our key priority and we are pleased to inform our local residents that close working with Colchester Hospital staff and clinicians has meant we have made significant progress in all areas during recent months.”

Ciaran Devane, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We welcome the publication of this data as a means to ensure the local NHS delivers on the Cancer Reform Strategy. This will provide an opportunity for the whole NHS to learn from the success of the best performing PCTs and will help to improve standards across the board.”

Cervical cancer screening: North East Essex PCT -81.4%, Suffolk PCT- 80.9%, Cambridgeshire PCT-81.1%, Norfolk-80.8%.

Breast cancer screening: North East Essex PCT - 81.4%, Suffolk PCT- 81.4%. Cambridgeshire-79.8%, Norfolk-80.5%,

Percentage of: Breast cancer patients alive after one year: North East Essex-96% Suffolk- 95.4%, Cambridgeshire- 96.3%, Norfolk-95.9%

Lung cancer patients alive after one year: North East Essex-26.1%, Suffolk-29.5%, Cambridgeshire-30.4%, Norfolk-31.7%.

Bowel cancer patients alive after one year: North East Essex-68.6%, Suffolk-72.1%, Cambridgeshire-73.9%. Norfolk-72.8%

Mortality rates per 100,000: North East Essex- 158, Suffolk-158, Cambridgeshire-157, Norfolk-155.

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