MP hails cancer progress at Prime Minister’s Questions

Cancer diagnosis and care at Harrogate and District Hospital has ‘improved dramatically’ over the last five years, according to the latest Department of Health figures.
Andrew JonesAndrew Jones
Andrew Jones

Figures released by the department revealed the hospital are treating 869 patients for cancer, 17 per cent more than in 2010 with 38 per cent more diagnostic tests taking place during that time.

The number of MRI scans have also increased by 40 per cent while endoscopy tests for bowel and stomach cancer have increased by 31 per cent.

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The news follows a call for greater preventative measures in tackling cancer after Cancer Research UK revealed that one in two people will develop the disease at some point in their lives.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones highlighted the importance of earlier diagnosis, increased access to treatments and the latest medicines at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, January 28.

He said: “One in four people have their cancer diagnosed at A+E and that’s far too late. Increasing diagnostic testing earlier is the biggest driver of the decline in that number.

“Critical to this is detection rates and early treatment. That is why as an MP I have supported campaigns highlighting many types of cancer including prostate, breast and bowel cancer.”

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New figures have revealed that 12,000 more patients every year are now predicted to survive their cancer than five years ago.

However, Yorkshire Cancer Research warned although the survival rates were increasing, the number of people receiving a diagnosis would increase ‘year on year’.

Chief Executive Officer, Charles Rowett, said: “Improved diagnostic techniques are critical in tackling cancer. It is estimated that if 1,000 more people took part the National Cancer Screening Programmes for breast, cervical and bowel cancers, 17 lives could be saved.”

Paul Middlebrook, Lead Cancer Nurse at Harrogate Hospital said they have been able to offer new services and support to their patients since moving into the new Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre .

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He said “Here at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust we are proud to be rated by patients as one of the very best in the country for cancer patient experience.

“If someone has any symptoms that continue for a number of weeks , we would urge them to see their GP so that the necessary tests can be done to find the cause.

“The earlier we detect the cancer, the higher the chance we can treat it successfully.”