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Cancer patients 'let down' over waiting times

Cancer waiting times have deteriorated, new figures show

CANCER waiting times have got worse over the last year, new figures show.

Only around 66 per cent of patients in December started treatment within the 62-day target - around a two per cent drop on December 2016.

Waiting times for breast cancer patients in particular have deteriorated rapidly.

In December, only around 80 per cent of patients were first seen by a specialist within the 14-day target, compared to over 91 per cent in December 2016.

Margaret Carr from Cancer Research UK said patients were being "let down".

"Some people are waiting too long to find out whether they have cancer and for treatment to begin which is a distressing time for them and their families," she said.

"Health staff are working in a difficult environment and doing their best for patients, but the lack of an Assembly and Executive means there's no current cancer strategy or plan of action to transform Northern Ireland's cancer services."

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