Thank you for contacting me about ovarian cancer.
I fully support the objective of improved awareness for all cancer symptoms, including ovarian cancer where early diagnosis makes a huge difference in survival. I know this is a priority for the Government which is why Public Health England (PHE) is working with cancer charities to pilot and assess the feasibility of an ovarian cancer audit over the next two years.
I am also encouraged that the NHS is developing new models of care and pathways that will transform services by speeding up diagnosis. This includes a commitment to roll out a new Faster Diagnosis Standard by 2020 to ensure that patients referred for an investigation with a suspicion of cancer are diagnosed or have cancer ruled out within 28 days. NHS England has also committed more than £200 million in cancer services between 2017 and 2019, to accelerate diagnosis, improve survival and enhance quality of life.
In October, the Prime Minister announced that NHS England is introducing Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centres which will operate as one-stop shops to reduce time-to diagnosis and time-to-first treatment. This is a real step change in the way people with unclear symptoms are identified, diagnosed and treated.
More broadly, the Government is delivering the largest single upgrade in NHS cancer treatment for the last 15 years. The £130 million radiotherapy modernisation programme is upgrading and replacing radiotherapy equipment in hospitals across England. Through this programme, patients will have access to the most modern, innovative radiotherapy techniques to create better health outcomes and improve patient experience.
I also welcome the fact that the Government is closely working with PHE to develop an approach to raise awareness of generic symptoms that can indicate a wider number of cancers, including ovarian cancer, and the need to visit the doctor promptly with these symptoms.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. I hope those with concerns regarding and experience of ovarian cancer will continue to contact me. Details of my surgeries can be obtained from my office or here: https://www.craigwhittaker.org.uk/meet-your-mp.
Craig Whittaker MP