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Cancer: Screening

Question for Department of Health

UIN 5889, tabled on 7 July 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will assess the potential merits of introducing routine follow-up checks for people who have received negative results when tested for cancer.

Answered on

15 July 2015

Increasing the capacity of diagnostic and imaging services is clearly recognised as a priority for the National Health Service and it has been raised as a key issue by the independent Cancer Taskforce, as well as by the Cancer Waiting Times Taskforce. We expect a new cancer strategy to be published later this month which will set out the strategy for the system for the next five years and will include consideration of the whole cancer pathway, including the capacity of diagnostic services. However, we are not aware of any specific plans to introduce follow-up checks for people who have received negative results when tested for cancer.

NHS England has launched a major early diagnosis programme (Accelerate, Co-ordinate, Evaluate – ACE), working jointly with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support to test new innovative approaches to identifying cancer more quickly, including offering patients the option to self-refer for diagnostic tests.