As many of you will know, Craig is the Chair the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer and do a lot of work on it, including with many of the various charities, so Craig was delighted to join Breast Cancer Now's "No Time To Waste" campaign which is aiming to ensure early diagnosis of Breast Cancer patients.
We know early diagnosis is critical in improving survival rates of any cancer and on Breast Cancer, the alliance looking after North Warwickshire & Bedworth performs well on some key metrics such as 79.5% of people being seen by a specialist within two weeks of being suspected of having the disease (against an average of 54%)
However, there are also areas where we need to make improvement, such as a Breast Screening uptake of just 57.8% (national minimal standard is 71% and England average 61.8%). These figures have seen a significant drop since the pandemic.
The message is clear - if you are offered screening, please take it up or if you suspect something, get it checked!
Cancer doesn't go away of its own accord and early diagnosis is key - 93% of patients diagnosed with Stage 1 or 2 survive after 5 years compared to just 26.2% of those diagnosed at Stage 4.
If you are worried or have been diagnosed, help is never far away and Breast Cancer now have an excellent helpline - 0808 800 6000 for anyone that has any queries about breast cancer or breast health, may want to talk things through or find more support. It is a great point of first contact as they can signpost to appropriate options that are available in our area as well as connecting with people going through a similar stage of their treatment.