The NHS has managed to significantly reduce cancer diagnosis times across the UK, according to official figures.
At the turn of the millennium it took on average 96 days from the first GP visit to diagnose bowel cancer, while now it is only 75 days. Oesophageal cancerdiagnosis times were also reduced from 59 to 48 days. Several other cancers showed a slight drop, but none as significant as bowel and oesophageal cancers.
Researchers trying to find the main causes of the improvement have highlighted the nationwide rollout of guidance in 2005 which helped doctors decide where a patient should be referred for treatment.
The Department of Health has invested £450m to improve its cancer strategy and improve diagnosis times, aiming to close the gap on the best healthcare systems when it comes to survival rates.