DoH unveils cancer strategy

A comprehensive five-year strategy for improving cancer services in England has been unveiled by the DoH.

The Cancer Reform Strategy, supported by an investment of £370 million by 2010, will transform existing cancer care from prevention and diagnoses, through to treatment and aftercare.

Key elements of the strategy will include a focus on prevention, faster treatment, extended screening, fast-track drug approval and extended services for the increasing numbers of people surviving cancer.

The Breast Cancer Screening Programme will be extended to all women aged 47 to 73 by 2012,
with £100 million to be spent on new digital mammography equipment.

While the National Bowel Screening Programme will be extended from 2010 to all men and women aged 70 to 75.

There will also be an increase in radiotherapy capacity over the next three years and an investment of £200 billion in new equipment and staff.

Amongst a raft of other measures, the DoH has announced that it will look at identifying ways to encourage more people to quit smoking and to decrease skin cancer rates.

They will consult on banning the sale of tobacco in vending machines, reducing cigarette displays in shops and whether there is potential to look again at packaging on cigarettes.

A review into the use of sunbeds, including how many coin-operated beds there are and where they are, will also be carried out.

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