Spokesman Fred Eckhard told the press at UN Headquarters in New York that the last week of the month was the period during which an agreement on Cyprus must be reached if the opportunity that now existed were to be seized. “[The Secretary-General] strongly hopes that the negotiations under way will be successful, and is prepared to continue playing a personal role to this end. Greece and Turkey have been approached on this possible visit,” Mr. Eckhard said in response to questions from the press. He noted that the precise itinerary of the Secretary-General’s travel would reflect a judgment made closer to the time regarding the possibility of his playing a personal role in bringing efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement to a decisive conclusion.The spokesman also noted that Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, was in New York today and Thursday to meet with Mr. Annan.
“The number of cancer cases diagnosed each year is set to rise and the already stretched pathology services won’t cope unless we ensure more people are trained and employed in pathology.”The study shows thousands of patients are waiting more than three months for tests which could determine whether they have cancer.In total, more than 3,500 patients waited at least this long for pathology, imaging and endoscopies between October and December last year, the report says.A growing and ageing UK population is also fuelling demand, the charity said. One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. One in two people will be diagnosed with cancerCredit:PA ‘The UK’s cancer survival is lagging behind other European countries and improving early diagnosis through diagnostic services is one of the ways to address this’Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s director of policy ‘The number of cancer cases diagnosed each year is set to rise and the already stretched pathology services won’t cope unless we ensure more people are trained and employed in pathology’Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, Cancer Research UK GPs have been encouraged to refer more patients for tests if there is a possibility of cancerCredit:Alamy A Government drive to diagnose cancer earlier is pushing services towards the brink of collapse, amid a 60 per cent rise in referrals, a major report warns.The study by Cancer Research UK says attempts to improve Britain’s poor diagnosis rates have not been matched by increases in the staff needed to carry out tests.Warning that the situation has reached “a tipping point” it highlights a 17 per cent rise in patients waiting at least six weeks for checks. But the study says a 60 per cent rise in referrals since 2009/10 has not been matched by any significant increase in staff, with numbers of pathologists rising by less than three per cent a year.Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, a Cancer Research UK pathology expert, said: “We need to act now before this situation gets worse. It’s vital that patients are diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful and pathology plays a crucial role in this. Britain has the highest rates of late cancer diagnosis in the western world.In recent years GPs have been encouraged to refer more patients for checks, in order to tackle the problem and save more lives. Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s director of policy, said: “Diagnostic services, including pathology, urgently need support and investment to ensure that diagnoses aren’t delayed and patients benefit from the latest treatment.“The UK’s cancer survival is lagging behind other European countries and improving early diagnosis through diagnostic services is one of the ways to address this. The diagnostic bottleneck will only get worse without action now and this involves addressing staff shortages in imaging, endoscopy and pathology.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.