Debbie Abrahams – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Debbie Abrahams on 2015-11-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information is recorded by the Cancer Registry on secondary breast cancer.

Jane Ellison

Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for collecting cancer data to support national cancer registration in England and recognises the importance of collecting data on recurrent breast cancer; however data on the number of people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer is not currently available. Pilot work undertaken in April 2012 in acute trusts has improved the reporting for breast cancer recurrence and metastasis to the National Cancer Registration Service (NCRS). In order to drive up data completeness for the submissions to the NCRS, monthly reports on data quality and completeness of the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset are made available to all acute providers.

Since the completion of the pilot project the NCRS in PHE has been working with all acute National Health Service providers in England to improve the reporting of breast cancer recurrence. The collection of this particular item of data remains challenging because relapsed patients may represent in many different ways and through many referral routes.

Further work is being scoped by NHS England and PHE based on the recommendation in the recent Independent Cancer Taskforce report to establish robust surveillance systems to collect this data on all cancers.