§ Yvette Cooper
We are committed to modernising cancer services and have invested an extra £30 million in breast cancer services since 1997. This is being used to implement evidence-based guidance to improve survival outcomes by helping to speed access to diagnosis and treatment by specialist multi-professional breast cancer teams.
From April 1999, all patients suspected of having breast cancer are guaranteed an outpatient appointment within 14 days of their general practitioner making an urgent referral. In the period April—September 1999, 35,000 women benefited from this high standard of care.
Through the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme, over one million women in England are screened each year at a cost of around £35 million. Nearly 8,000 women had breast cancer detected and treated through screening in 1997–98, and thousands of others had the reassurance of knowing that they are being checked every three years for the disease.