Last month the BBC revealed that “cancer waiting times for 2023 in England were the worst on record”.

Only 64.1% of patients started treatment within 62 days of a cancer suspicion, meaning nearly 100,000 waited longer than they should for life-saving care.

These numbers are not just another statistic, they reflect the immediate action required by the NHS and the government.

“Behind the figures are real lives being turned upside down, with thousands of people waiting far too long to find out if they have cancer and to begin their treatment, causing additional anxiety at what is already a very difficult time.” Said Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Improvements were made in 2023 to ensure 72% of patients were informed of their cancer status within 28 days of an urgent referral. However, this does not affect the waiting time for treatment.

At RMDM, we believe that addressing this crisis requires a multifaceted approach combining both short-term solutions and long-term system reforms.

What’s the solution?

Reducing the backlog of 7.6 million patients awaiting non-cancer-related treatment, could help simplify the pathway to cancer diagnosis and care.

Unfortunately, the deficit in primary care during the Covid-19 pandemic heightened the backlog of patients awaiting treatments. By filtering out non-cancer-suspicious patients, more focus and energy can be directed on patients with a confirmed cancer suspicion to expediate their access to care.

A screening program to quickly identify patients with cancer-suspicious results could alleviate the current pressures on the healthcare system.

Our initiative is to provide a screening program offering the PanTum Detect test, alongside imaging methods such as PET/CT or MRI. This simple blood test can detect early stages of cancer with unprecedented accuracy.

Our blood test filters out healthy individuals, enabling doctors to target ‘cancer-suspicious’ individuals with comprehensive imaging screening.

The combination of blood testing and imaging provides an effective early detection solution for cancers that do not have any recognized early detection methods available. It enables healthcare providers to identify cancer early on, without waiting for other symptoms to arise.

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Letizia Gulino, urges health officials to focus on change:

“It is a moral imperative that we heed the call to action and work tirelessly to establish an effective screening program that prioritizes patient care and well-being above all else. Lives depend on it”.