This publication has never backed away from publishing an uneasy truth, and our Behind the News analysis report this week makes for very uneasy reading indeed. Cancer care treatment in Wales lags decades behind other countries when it comes to survival rates. So much so that many cancer patients are losing five years on average on their survival rates.

Yes, this poor treatment is literally a matter of life and death, and one that affects virtually every family in Wales.


Why has this gone on for so long?

And why have our elected public representatives failed in giving the people of Wales the cancer treatment they deserve?

The data crunching has been done by Macmillan Cancer Support and sadly reveals that several cancer survival rates are only just reaching levels that other European countries, such as Sweden, had achieved in the early 2000s.

On top of this, the charity warns that cancer waiting times across the UK were among the worst on record last year and people with cancer are facing significant challenges across all areas of their life including their physical and mental health, their finances and more.

But health, of course, is a devolved power. So when the Welsh Government boldly promises that 75 per cent of patients will begin their cancer treatment within 62 days, we are supposed to sit up and take notice.

Well, it sure sounds good on paper. And that’s about all.

Not once have those targets been met. How disheartening is that for someone who has been told that life-altering and potentially life-defining three words: “You have cancer”?

And how disheartening it is that despite all of the promises made by the Welsh Government, some waiting times for cancer treatment are getting longer.

As Macmillan points out, “cancer care is at breaking point, but this is a political choice: better is possible”.

Depending where you live in Wales, there is a huge disparity in waiting times for scans and tests between different hospitals, even those within the same trust. That simply is not acceptable. None of it is.