Cancer sufferers in Babergh have one of the best chances of early diagnosis, according to new figures.
Experimental data from Public Health England showed that Babergh came fifth in a nationwide survey to find out at what stage cancer is diagnosed.
The postcode lottery of care was created from preliminary data but shows the East has good levels of early diagnosis, with both Babergh and St Edmundsbury (eighth) in the top 10.
South Cambridgeshire, which was top, Colchester, Broadland and South Norfolk were also in the top 10.
Dr Andrew Yager, who sits on NHS West Suffolk’s clinical commissioning group, said: “The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances are for a positive outcome for patients.
“Our group is committed to increasing the levels of early diagnosis and, with our healthcare partners, is working on raising awareness of cancer symptoms to encourage people to see their GP if they have any concerns.
“We are also focussed on ensuring continual training for our GPs and other health care staff to deliver accurate and speedy diagnosis.”
In 2011, the coalition Government set out its ambitions to drive up cancer survival rates, with a projected target that an extra 5,000 people a year will survive cancer by 2015.
This was backed up with £750million of funding over four years, partly set out to improve early diagnosis and the expansion of screening programmes.
In England, more than 250,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and, despite improvements in survival rates, cancer outcomes in England remain poor compared with the best figures in Europe.
The Public Health England figures showed that, on average, under 42 per cent of cancers are diagnosed at the first and second stages.
There are four stages given to cancer, which refers to how far the cancer has spread, with stage one usually a small tumour.