§ Dr. Gibson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the current waiting time is for non-urgent referrals for suspected breast cancer.
§ Ms Blears
Data on the waiting time for non-urgent referrals for suspected breast cancer are not collected centrally. Referral guidelines have been issued to general practitioners to help them refer suspected cancers, including breast cancer, appropriately within the two-week outpatient cancer waiting time standard. A maximum waiting time of one month from diagnosis to first treatment was introduced for all cases of breast cancer from December 2001. In the last quarter (October to December 2002) 96.5 per cent. of women received treatment within one month of diagnosis with breast cancer.