In addition, colorectal cancer screening referrals declined by 58.5% and cervical cancer screening referrals dropped by 22.7%, according to the report. Breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening services were paused in March due to COVID-19 and no new invitations for the three screening programs were sent out during the quarter. Breast cancer screening did resume on 3 August.
Of the patients who were referred during the quarter with positive breast cancer screening exams, 91.5% began treatment within 62 days of referral, down from 97.3% in the previous quarter. NHS Scotland has a standard that states that 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer or screened positive through a national screening program should wait a maximum of 62 days from referral to first cancer treatment.
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