§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average waiting time for mastectomy in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement on the waiting time between diagnosis of breast cancer and surgery.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
Information requested on waiting times for mastectomies is not available centrally.
We are aware that the period between diagnosis of breast cancer and surgery is a worrying time for women. The national health service breast screening programme, endorsed by the Breast Cancer Screening Advisory Committee, suggests the following targets for the follow-up of abnormalities:first stage screening to subsequent assessment: less than two weeks;surgical assessment: less than one week;completion of assessment to biopsy: 90 per cent. admitted within two weeks;diagnosis to treatment of screen detected lesions: 90 per cent. admitted within three weeks.