Bedford among best for early diagnosis of cancer, says report

Professor Rob Thomas, oncologist at Primrose Unit, Bedford Hospital.
Professor Rob Thomas, oncologist at Primrose Unit, Bedford Hospital.

Bedford has the third-highest rating in England for early cancer diagnoses, according to new figures from Public Health England.

60.3% of all cancers are diagnosed early for people who live in Bedford Borough. Only two other local authority areas have a better rate of early diagnosis.

The average figure across England is 41.6%.

Consultant Oncologist Professor Robert Thomas said: “These figures are a credit to the hospital’s surgeons and radiologists, to the local GPs, and to the people living here who go to see a doctor when they get the symptoms of cancer.

“Earlier detection means earlier treatment, and that is always better for the patient. With breast cancer for example, if it is detected earlier then patients are less likely to need to undergo chemotherapy, and more likely to have a better prognosis.

“There are also a number of support groups for people who are or who have been cancer patients and their friends and families, such as a breast cancer support group and a prostate cancer support group.”

The 60.3% figure is calculated from the number of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2, divided by the total number of cancers diagnosed.

People who live in Central Bedfordshire who contracted cancer had a 52.2% rate of early diagnosis, the 43rd highest figure out of 326 local authority areas. The lowest figure in England was Spelthorne, with a 14.2% rate of early diagnosis.

The figures were calculated using data from the National Cancer Registry.