NEEDED: NHS staff to diagnose cancer early

The earlier a person is diagnosed, the better chance they have to survive
their cancer.

For example, when bowel cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than 9 in 10 people survive. When the cancer is diagnosed at a later stage, survival drops to less than 1 in 10. Unfortunately, we only catch just over half of people’s cancer at an early stage in England. We can do so much better.

Our NHS staff are spotting cancers every day, but due to staff shortages and increasing demand, the diagnostic workforce is under immense pressure.

The Government needs to train and employ more NHS staff in England to diagnose cancer earlier.

These staff are responsible for detecting cancers through a variety of tests. For example, carrying out and reading MRI scans, studying blood samples, and using tubes with tiny cameras attached to search for possible cancers. At least 1 in 10 of these essential jobs is currently vacant across England. The pool of skilled people just isn’t there. Not only does the Government need to train and employ more diagnostic staff right now, they also need to equip the NHS for the future.

With 1 in 2 people now expected to develop cancer in their lifetime, we need the Government to address the increasing demand for cancer tests, to help thousands survive their cancer.

Email Jeremy Hunt

Ask the Secretary of State for Health to train and employ more diagnostic staff across England to relieve the pressure on the NHS, and ensure more people are diagnosed with cancer early.

Fill in the form with your details and you’ll be taken to a page with a template email that you can edit before sending. It only takes a couple minutes. 

*As health is devolved, this action applies to NHS staff in England only.*


By filling in your details in the form above, we will keep you updated about this campaign and give you further opportunities to get involved with other campaigns. You can opt-out at any time by emailing

Join Us

Become part of the movement to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Hear about Cancer Research UK’s latest breakthroughs, campaigns and how you can support our life saving work.

Your details are safe with us. We will never share them with anyone else. Check out our Privacy Policy.