Working class communities face cancer diagnosis inequality


Plaid Cymru calls for 28-day cancer diagnosis target for all of Wales.

The working-class communities of Wales don’t have access to the cancer diagnosis facilities that they need and are facing being committed to a “death sentence” as a result, Plaid Cymru have said. Today during First Minister’s Questions, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said that implementing a 28-day cancer diagnosis target for all of Wales could prevent this.

Speaking in the chamber during First Minister’s Questions, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM said,

“Recent research by Macmillan shows that cancer diagnosis in Wales remains a postcode lottery. Our poor communities consistently face later stage diagnosis.  Where stage is recorded, more than 1 in 4 people in Wales were diagnosed with cancer at its latest stage (stage four). Macmillan’s data also shows stage four diagnosis in our poorest areas is up to 9% higher compared to their wealthier neighbours.

This is not only unacceptable in the context of our rates being the worst of any country in the UK. It is not acceptable full stop. For some cancers, the wait between first suspecting something is wrong and diagnosis is the longest in Europe.”

Leanne Wood AM called on the First Minister to commit to setting and sticking to a 28-day cancer diagnosis target for all to ensure cancer is caught early. The First Minister did not agree to commit to Leanne Wood’s proposal.

Following First Minister’s Questions, Leanne Wood AM said,

“The First Minister’s response shows an abject denial of responsibility. His rejection of 28-day targets is not for the good of patients, but for the good of his own public relations.

Currently, the poorest communities of Wales face late stage diagnosis and therefore a smaller chance of survival. An information campaign, more ready access to GPs and diagnosis services can turn this around. Cancer Research UK has championed it. Clinicians are calling for it. England is doing it.

A Plaid Cymru government would commit to creating accessible cancer diagnosis services right across Wales, so that whoever you are – rich or poor – your cancer diagnosis is not left too late.”

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