7 May 2014
Public Health England (PHE) has today published the first set of experimental statistics  based on the available data showing, for most areas of England, the number of new cases of cancer in England diagnosed at stage one and two as a proportion of all new cases . Mike Hobday, Director of Policy and Research at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“This is the first time we have been able to access this level of information on multiple types of cancer. As more becomes available it will really help us to identify areas for improvement in catching the illness early. This is a great example of how “big data” will help us save cancer patients’ lives.
“There is still a fair way to go before we get the full picture and how this varies by cancer type. All areas of England must be enabled to report the stage at which people are diagnosed with cancer to help identify any pockets where this isn’t happening as quickly as others so we can take action to improve.
“If we want to catch up with other European countries’ survival rates we must make sure as many people as possible are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage to give them the best chance of surviving. Although these are early figures, it is clear that too many patients are being diagnosed late, when their cancer is already spreading.”
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Notes to Editors:
1 They are experimental as they are in the testing phase and are not fully developed because despite considerable progress by many acute providers in England not all cases submitted to the National Cancer Registration Service have a stage recorded. PHE continues to work very closely with partners and stakeholders to help improve the completeness of the complex data that underpins staging information. In this initial data release, differences between local authorities will be influenced by differences in data quality. Experimental statistics are defined by the UK Statistics Authority as “new official statistics undergoing evaluation.”
2 Public Health England (May 2014), Public Health Outcomes Framework. See indicator 2.19 - Cancer diagnosed at early stage (Experimental Statistics) http://www.phoutcomes.info/public-health-outcomes-framework#gid/1000042/pat/6/ati/102/page/0/par/E12000004/are/E06000015
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