PERFORMANCE: Cancer mortality rates in Liverpool have risen for the last four recorded quarters, local monitoring by the primary care trust has found.

At the end of June 2010 the age-standardised cancer death rate for under-75s stood at 156.7 per 100,000 of the population, the PCT’s latest performance report showed.

It said the high mortality rate was “thought to be due to late presentation of cancer and possibly delays in referral, though there is no clear evidence of this in Liverpool as yet”.

It added: “To address the former, there has been a detailed survey of individuals living in wards in the city who have the characteristics of being at high risk of the three main cancers, breast, lung and bowel. This survey looked at how people view their lifestyle and the associated risks, how much they know about cancer symptoms, and what would they do if they had the symptoms. This information is being used to plan a publicity campaign to target messages at these groups in ways that they are most likely to receive them.

“There is also work planned with GPs to encourage early referral.”