High score for East Anglian hospitals over cancer diagnosis

Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing Mammogram

Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing Mammogram - Credit: Getty Images

New figures reveal hospitals in East Anglia are the best in the country for diagnosing bowel cancer at the earliest opportunity.

An investigation by Cancer Research UK found half of patients with bowel cancer in our region were diagnosed at stage one or two, which is considered early.

But the area fared poorly for diagnosing melanoma, with figures almost as bad as worst-area Yorkshire.

The figures, relating to 2012/13, show big differences in the stages of cancer-diagnosis across the country.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: 'Wherever you live, an early diagnosis of cancer will give you more treatment options and a better chance of survival.

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'So it's unacceptable to see such variation across England, with some areas falling far behind others in prompt diagnosis of different cancers.'

According to the figures there were 24,385 patients in East Anglia who were diagnosed with cancer at stages one, two, three, or four.

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Of those, 10,658 (43.9pc) were diagnosed in the later stages (three and four).

It is the third-best result of 25 areas of England.

Survival for some of the most common trypes of cancer is known to be more than three times higher when the disease is diagnosed in the earlier stages.

The statistics are released as Cancer Research UK launches a nationwide Early Diagnosis Campaign next week.

The campaign will encourage people to know what's normal for their bodies so they spot unusual changes and see their GP about possible cancer symptoms without delay.

The biggest difference in stage at diagnosis among all cancers across England in 2012-13 was between Merseyside (worst) and the area incorporating Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire (best).

Have you got a health story?

Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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