MORE than a quarter of Brits wait more than a month for cancer test results due to NHS delays.
Patients with red flag symptoms should get a diagnosis or the all-clear within 28 days of being referred to a specialist.
But Cancer Research UK says an average 65,400 people every month are left waiting for longer and face weeks of anxiety.
Only half of hospitals meet the minimum standard of diagnosing 75 per cent of patients within four weeks — because of staff shortages and backlogs worsened by Covid.
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research CEO, said: “We should not accept that over one in four people on an urgent referral are left waiting over a month to find out whether they have cancer.
“Nor should we stand for the variation that exists across the country.”
The charity wants the bar raised so that 95 per cent of patients get a clear answer within a month.
Earlier diagnosis boosts a cancer sufferer’s chances.
Hospitals do not have enough specialist cancer staff, such as radiologists who take and read scans, to keep up with patient demand.
Health ministers are drawing up a long-term plan which will be vital for improving NHS cancer care.