Backgound and Policy Context
This policy's aims are structured around the themes of more prevention, early detection, improved access and better services
What are we doing about skin cancer?
- Changing those things that have been shown to have a direct causal effect on cancer rates and occurrence.
- Detecting cancers as early as possible through improved public and professional awareness of symptoms.
- Detecting cancers through cancer screening programmes.
Skin cancer, including non-melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma, is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Wales. The main cause of skin cancer is excessive sun exposure, and relatively small changes to the way people behave in the sun can decrease personal risk. (source Designed to Tackle Cancer)
A further requirement is the need for professional roles and competence in early identification of cancer symptoms. The Skills for Health initiative is aimed at supporting skills improvement. The implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on referral of suspected cancer is designed for this purpose also .
At the moment there is no general screening programme in the UK for skin cancer. Primary Health Care Teams are key players in identifying high risk groups and in referrng suspected cases to hospital dermatologists and Multidisciplinary Specialist Teams
Here the policy aim is to provide diagnosis, treatment and palliative care services for people with cancer that match or surpass the best in Europe . In particular, to
achieve and sustain comparable one year and five-year survival rates with the top European quartile by 2015.
The National Cancer Standards represent the elements of cancer care that patients should expect to receive and cover areas relating to the organisation of cancer
services, patient-centred care, multidisciplinary teams, initial investigations and time to diagnosis and treatment.
Information System Cymru (CaNISC) supports clinical audit.
The National Cancer Standards also detail key elements for improving the quality of cancer services.