We must lead a relentless drive towards earlier diagnosis
Prof. Tom Crosby ― Medical Director, Wales Cancer Network
The earlier the stage at which a cancer is diagnosed, the better outcomes are for the patient, for their loved ones and carers, and for health services. And while our health system faces the challenge of a huge backlog of need resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, some significant innovations in early cancer detection and diagnosis are also on the very near horizon.
To take just three examples: lung health-checks, liquid biopsies and digitized, AI-assisted diagnosis techniques are all being developed - and trialled in practice - around the globe. These innovations, and more, will have significant implications for how many cancers we’re able to pick up early, how much strain can be avoided in our healthcare system, and to how many patients we can offer therapy with the intention to cure.
With these innovations around the corner, we believe in a future where people from all backgrounds in Wales are given the best chance to survive, or to live well and longer with their cancer.
Through thorough research, and in collaboration with Welsh clinicians, we’re exploring what 'post-pandemic' early diagnosis cancer pathways and services might look like, and what implications this has for how services are provided and supported.
This research will inform our partnerships and funding, and we
hope, provide a useful roadmap for others, to push towards a better future for early
diagnosis of cancer in Wales.
You can download the scoping paper we've authored to help guide this roadmap below.