Improving cancer detection and the speed with which this can be done has never been a more prominent and important issue, particularly due to the NHS backlog as a result of the pandemic. I know my colleagues in DHSC are taking several steps in the area of cancer treatment, services and support, and I also understand why so many constituents are concerned about this area, and how Covid-19 has affected this.
That is why I wanted to update you as the NHS today launched the world's first trial of a revolutionary new blood test for cancer detection, as our world-leading scientists continue to pioneer innovative cancer diagnosis and treatments.
As so many families across Mid Sussex know, cancer is a devastating disease affecting millions, but by finding cancer before signs and symptoms even appear, we can give people the best possible chance of beating the disease.
This is why the trial for the new test - called the Galleri test - has been launched. This blood test can detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear, which if successful, will save lives and play a major part in achieving our NHS Long Term Plan ambition to catch three quarters of cancer at an early stage.
Ensuring fewer people need treatment for advanced cancer is vital for patient care, and another example of the NHS innovating to be more efficient – which will be crucial in bringing down the backlog.