The government would regularly review NHS cancer care, and publish performance statistics for cancer centres - including survival rates - under a bill proposed by Labour backbencher Paul Marsden.
The MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham said he was 'astonished' there is no central register of cancer services. 'The information is fragmented by type of cancer or by region or is simply non-existent, especially for the rarer cancers,' he said.
His 10-minute rule bill, which has backing from backbenchers of all parties, calls for a regularly updated directory of cancer care to be disseminated through NHS Direct and the Internet to allow patients and professionals to access information on the disease. It would identify types of cancer provision, areas of greatest need, range of treatment, information on different strains of the disease, performance statistics for cancer care centres, facilities available and survival rates.
There was no immediate ministerial response to the bill, which was read earlier this month.
Junior health minister John Hutton earlier announced that evidence-based guidance for improving outcomes in breast, colorectal and lung cancer were to be published this month, with guidance on upper-gastro-intestinal tract cancer following in the autumn.