NHS England is supporting a campaign launched by The Sunday Times newspaper, which aims at improving cancer care.
The campaign focuses on swifter diagnosis, faster and more consistent treatment across the country and more advanced radiotherapy.
National Medical Director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, said NHS England has ambitions to raise cancer survival to match the best in Europe. He said:
“I am not interested in an NHS that aspires to mediocrity, the European average or whatever. I genuinely believe we should set ourselves the achievable ambition of raising our cancer survival rates to match the very best in Europe.
“It’s true that cancer care has come on in leaps and bounds but we can’t look at our comparative survival rates and think anything other than we need to do more.
“The key is faster diagnosis. We need to end the days when one in four patients are diagnosed as an emergency. So we need to help people understand what symptoms to worry about and ensure they get the necessary tests earlier so that treatment can be started sooner.
“Basically everyone has a role to play: worried patients, spouses and families, GPs, hospitals and specialists. That is why I think this campaign has so much to offer.”
Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer, added: “Being diagnosed with cancer is life-changing and it is vital that patients are diagnosed and have access to treatment quickly and easily so they have the best possible chance of recovery.”