Thank you for contacting me about support for children and young people living with cancer.
Greater awareness of symptoms, as well as faster referral of suspected childhood cancers are crucial to ensure that more children and young people can be diagnosed quicker.
I know that the NHS has committed to meeting the Faster Diagnosis Standard so that by 2024, 75 per cent of patients who are urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer either have a diagnosis or have cancer ruled out within 28 days. The NHS is also prioritising the goal of meeting the early diagnosis ambition, so that 75 per cent of cancers are diagnosed at stage 1 or 2 by 2028.
Understanding the experience of children and young people with cancer is crucial for being able to improve their cancer treatment and care. It is positive to see that the first Under-16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey was published by NHS England in October 2021, following the campaigning of charities such as Young Lives vs Cancer and Teenage Cancer Trust. The results of the 2021 Under-16 CPES have recently been published and you can find more details here: https://www.under16cancerexperiencesurvey.co.uk/visual-summaries
I strongly encourage children with cancer and their families to take part in the next survey that will take place this spring.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.