Experts say NHS data for England showing rise in cancer checks is misleading

Experts have said that the NHS figures that show more people than ever are being checked for cancer are “misleading”. Official data published on 1st January 2024 reported that almost 3 million people in England were tested for cancer in 2022, a 133% increase in the decade since 2013.

The latest monthly figures also show that October 2023 was the highest month on record for cancer checks, with 269,492 urgent referrals.

But leading cancer experts dismissed the figures as “misleading” and “smoke and mirrors”, noting that the NHS was failing to meet every cancer target by significant margins. The October data shows that the proportion of cancer patients who waited less than two months for their first treatment after an urgent referral was 58.2%, well below the target of 85%. The figures show that 65.8% of patients with symptoms of possible breast cancer were treated within two months after referral.

Full story in The Guardian, 1 January 2024