Cancer treatment progress should focus on entire workforce, says RCP

In response to the Health Foundation's latest report, Unfinished business: An assessment of the national approach to improving cancer services in England 1995–2015, which explores progress on cancer care in England over almost two decades and recommends ways in which to help close the gap in survival between England and other comparable countries, RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard said:

The health service has made huge strides in its approach to treating cancer, given that it touches so many of us and worries many more, but the fact that we still fall behind other countries highlights that there is still much that we can and must do.

[...] in doing more to treat cancer the focus should be on the entire workforce, including GPs and non-medical staff.

Professor Andrew Goddard, RCP president

The Royal College of Physicians has already highlighted growing pressures on hospital doctors, with immigration restrictions making recruitment harder and more costly, but in doing more to treat cancer the focus should be on the entire workforce, including GPs and non-medical staff.

Diagnosing cancers earlier will reduce pressure on acute services and new technology could help with offering screening. It is essential too that we create a culture of patients not being embarrassed, inhibited by 'social duty' or afraid to seek help for their symptoms.