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Greater Manchester leading the way on cancer

16th March 2018

Senior leaders from health and local government will today (Friday 16th March) hear how Greater Manchester is leading the way on cancer prevention, diagnosis, and care.  A new report highlighting recent achievements is scheduled to be discussed at today’s Greater Manchester Health and Care Board.  Members will hear about success stories in a range of different areas, including the examples below.

Prevention: Cancer Champions

Around 2,500 Cancer Champions have been recruited across the region and are now spreading key health messages in their communities. This is part of an effort to encourage people to take control of their own health and wellbeing.

Diagnosis: lung health check pilot

The pilot, run in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support, offered 2,500 smokers and ex-smokers free health checks and scans in supermarket car parks. As a result, 42 new cases of lung cancer were identified, 80% of which were early-stage and treatable.  The scheme has drawn international interest and will potentially be expanded nationally.

Care: fast track treatment

Where cancer is confirmed, patients should be treated within 62 days in the majority of cases, in line with national NHS targets. In recent years, Greater Manchester has consistently been the top performing area in England with 50% more patients being seen within seven days of referral.

Dave Shackley, Medical Director of Greater Manchester Cancer, said: “Sadly, people in Greater Manchester have a higher chance of getting cancer than the national average. However, I am proud to say that we are among the best when it comes to results for patients and the performance of the system as a whole.  We have seen significant successes in recent years but we have ambitious plans to go further and faster.  There is huge ambition to transform cancer care across Greater Manchester.”

Mike Thorpe, aged 60 and from Bury, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. He said: “Things are progressing very quickly in cancer services in Greater Manchester. The impression I have is that we are definitely leading the way in terms of improving cancer services, service user involvement, and innovation.”

Greater Manchester residents can get involved by raising awareness of cancer symptoms, offering support in their community, and helping to prevent cancer by becoming a Cancer Champion. Local people are encouraged to visit www.icangm.co.uk to find out more and sign up.