This week we are excited to share the news of an incredible commitment to early cancer detection by the Scottish Government. A £10 million fund has been granted to improve cancer waiting times. The fund will enable the NHS in Scotland to invest in staff skills, new diagnostic tests, and extend working hours, allowing for more patients to be seen.
“Limiting the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients has been a top priority in all of our planning…our commitment to finding and treating cancer as early as possible has never been greater.” said Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, during the formal announcement of the fund at the newly opened Early Cancer Detection Centre in Fife. This centre, one of three across Scotland, gives GP’s the opportunity to refer patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer onto a fast-track diagnostic pathway to receive care sooner.
The ECDC in Fife says, “patients will have an individualised assessment with the aim of achieving a diagnosis and initiating a treatment plan, or gaining the reassurance that nothing concerning has been found.” They will offer further investigation of symptoms through additional tests including imaging tests, endoscopy, blood tests, and other relevant tests.
Patients referred to the ECDC will also be provided with a ‘patient navigator’ who will be their constant point of contact assisting with pre-diagnostic support and coordinating all appointments and tests.
This is exactly the kind of action we have been urging governments and health providers to take. As we know, the backlog of cancer diagnoses due to Covid-19 is severe and leaders need to embrace new opportunities and innovative technologies to be able to counter it.
The Scottish Government has been making strides to ease the backlog as of December 2020 when they revealed their National Cancer Recovery Plan and are proud to confirm that their “NHS has consistently either met, or been very close to meeting, the 31-day decision to treat cancer standard. From decision to treat to first treatment, cancer patients in Scotland wait on average four days for treatment.”
The ECDCs will run as a pilot for a 12-month period evaluated consistently throughout that time to ensure best practice and long-term feasibility.
We know our PanTum Detect test could have a huge impact and add to the success and efficiency of the centres. Since our test can detect tumours anywhere in the body with a sensitivity of 97.5% and can rule out healthy individuals with 99.05% specificity, we feel that our test would be perfectly suited in a primary care setting as the first step to detect cancer.
We are doing our best to make sure healthcare leaders are aware of our technology and create opportunities to partner with such developments.
We expect this news will reassure Scottish residents concerned by a possible cancer diagnosis or at unease by acute symptoms. We look forward to hearing how the centres progress and hope this will inspire other governments to give the same priority to early cancer detection.
Want to learn more about PanTum Detect?
If you would like to learn more about our early detection cancer test, PanTum Detect, head over to our website to read our recently published whitepaper.
PanTum Detect is currently available twice a week at The Centre for Health and Human Performance (www.chhp.com) in Harley Street, London. If you are interested in booking an appointment, please call CHHP and speak to Jim Pate, the lab manager.
Want to partner with RMDM?
If you would like to partner with RMDM on an early cancer detection project, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch by calling 0207 052 8353 or using the contact form on our website.