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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Cancer waiting times 'get better'
Cancer cells
The pattern of cancers in Forth Valley is predicted to change
Cancer waiting times in Forth Valley are showing major improvements, according to a new report.

NHS Forth Valley's Cancer Strategy report revealed that most patients were now diagnosed and starting treatment within the national target of 62 days.

In the cases of about 85% of people referred found not to have cancer, reassurance is given more quickly.

The report is the second carried out by the health board and it maps out cancer services for the next five years.

It predicts that the pattern of cancers is set to change.

Pharmacy project

According to the report, lung cancer - the most common in men - will be overtaken by prostate cancer by 2010-2014 partly as a result of the smoking ban.

A national bowel screening service, due to begin in December, for people between the ages of 50 and 74, is also predicted to cut the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.

However, other cancers including melanoma and non-hodgkins lymphoma are set to increase.

The pattern of cancer care is also set to change according to the report.

More chemotherapy is being developed which has the potential to be administered in community settings.

Pharmacists are also being educated through the Macmillan community pharmacy project to ensure that patients presenting to them with symptoms which suggest cancer are referred to their GP.

Investment over the past five years has included the appointment of patient pathway co-coordinators to track patients through their treatment, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and a new MRI scanner.

The report said almost all diagnosis and treatment for cancers was provided locally with the Kintore Unit at Falkirk Royal Infirmary providing chemotherapy and cancer clinics.

Clinicians from the Beatson come to Forth Valley to help provide care for patients.

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