‘Early diagnosis of breast cancer saves lives’, says Tony Lloyd

Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, has stressed the importance of an early diagnosis in breast cancer.

Tony said, “Early diagnosis is key to effective breast cancer treatment, but yet in Rochdale, breast screening uptake was 60.4% in 2020/2021*. This is significantly lower than the national minimal standard of 70%.

“The Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) was intended to bring a focus on rapid diagnosis, but the current lowered ambition for the target of 75% instead of 95% could give a false perception of success whilst increasing the time it takes to get a breast cancer diagnosis.

“That has to change, and that is why I’m calling on the government to do much more to clear this backlog and get people screened and checked much faster.”

Tony joins cross party MPs in writing to the Health Secretary calling for these measures, adding “We all have high aspirations for breast cancer diagnosis and want to set a reliable gold standard for the care patients deserve. Let’s make sure the FDS reflects our joint ambition and can be a symbol of recovery.”

If you have any queries about breast cancer or breast health, or want to talk things through or find more support, you can contact the Breast Cancer Now Helpline for free on 0808 800 6000.

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Notes for editors-
*Data for NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG. Breast screening uptake – Women, 50-70, screened for breast cancer within 6 months of invitation (Uptake, %), 2020/21. Public Health England Fingertips, Cancer Services. Available at: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk