A leading Welsh cancer charity has expressed concerns that up to 25,000 people may have missed out on being referred for cancer tests and treatment this year in the light of the pandemic and lockdowns.

In response to the latest NHS cancer waiting times published today (for August 2020), Judi Rhys, Tenovus Cancer Care Chief Executive, commented: “After some encouraging signs the number of people entering the Single Cancer Pathway was climbing towards pre-coronavirus levels, these latest figures are a worrying step backwards and a reminder there is a still a lot of work to be done.

“August’s figures are 22 per cent down on the same period last year and with every month that goes by there are thousands more people ‘missing’ from the system. We now estimate almost 25,000 fewer people have been referred for cancer tests than would have been expected in 2020.

“GP surgeries are open and will remain open during the fire-break, so it is vital people do not delay in getting any new potentially cancerous symptoms checked out immediately.”

The statistics show the number of people entering the SCP in August 2020 10,555 compared to 13,684 in August 2019.