1 in 3 cancer patients in Morecambe Bay waiting more than 2 months for urgent treatment
This week, South Lakes MP Tim Farron led an emergency summit of MPs, peers and clinicians to discuss the cancer crisis.
It comes after worrying new figures from the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that one in three (33%) cancer patients in the Morecambe Bay area were waiting more than two months for urgent treatment, more than double the NHS' target of 15%.
A study published in the British Medical Journal last year found that delaying cancer treatment by just four weeks increases the risk of death by up to 10%.
Nationally, the NAO have estimated that between 35,000-60,000 cancer patients missed their first treatment since the start of the pandemic.
Tim said: "For too long dealing with the cancer crisis has been an afterthought for NHS England and the Department for Health.
"Cancer waiting lists are now at a record high. If the Government really is saying that this is their plan to tackle the cancer backlog, then clearly they need a new one.
"We desperately need the same urgency, investment and focus that was rightly awarded to the vaccine roll-out, now given to the cancer crisis.
"There needs to be a new plan for cancer, with ring-fenced money for the front-line and a single minister given responsibility for implementing it.
"Radiotherapy must be at the forefront. It has baffled and angered clinicians that one of the most effective, Covid-safe forms of cancer treatment has been left out of every single of the Government's plans to tackle the backlog so far.
"My message to the Health Secretary is this: treat this issue with the urgency and seriousness it deserves before thousands more lives are lost to this dreadful disease."