Transformation Partners in Health and Care > Our partnerships work > Cancer > Cancer data > London’s urgent suspected cancer referrals

The two-week urgent referral pathway for suspected cancer is a key part of NHS England’s national cancer strategy for achieving earlier diagnosis and improved survival rates in England:

“In order to improve early diagnosis, we need to encourage people to recognise the symptoms and signs of cancer, and seek advice from their doctor as soon as possible. We also need doctors to recognise these symptoms and (if appropriate) refer people urgently for specialist care”.

Links to interactive data dashboards

Data highlights

  • The urgent pathway for GPs/GDPs/Optometrists who suspect cancer continues to be important for improving earlier diagnosis in England.
  • The number of patients seen has increased every year except for 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
  • The most recent year 2022 has seen an 8% rise in the number of patients seen urgently.
  • Skin, Breast, and Lower GI have the highest number of suspected cancer referrals in 2022.
  • The data indicates that at the end of 2022, 4.9% of suspected cancer referrals were diagnosed with cancer.
  • Over the past eleven years we have seen an increasing proportion of all cancers treated being referred via the suspected cancer referral pathway, rising from 38% to 52%.