Early diagnosis 'crucial' in fight against cancer

Early diagnosis and screening is a crucial tool in the fight against cancer and makes a significant difference to survival rates of all types of cancer, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK said.

Cancer Research UK Harpal Kumar with Lawrence McGinty at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool Credit: ITV news

In an interview with Science and Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty, Harpal Kumar said:

"Early diagnosis is incredibly important for cancer, and it is true that it is important across just about every type of cancer.

"We know that for the vast majority of cases, the earlier we detect it, the greater the chances of successful treatment, and often for the patient, must less gruelling treatment, so it really can make an enormous difference."

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Regional cancer rates contrast

There are alarming regional variations in the number of cancer cases and survival rates across England, according to Cancer Research UK statistics. Liverpool is among the worst; the overall number of cancer cases is 25% above the national average.