Skip to main content Skip to footer

Optimal cancer diagnostic pathways

CfSD’s Earlier Cancer Diagnosis Programme Board is responsible for commissioning optimal cancer diagnostic pathways to be developed in NHS Scotland.

Overseen by the CfSD Cancer Improvement and Earlier Diagnosis Team, this clinically-led process involves engagement with and input from specialist teams across NHS Scotland.

The development of optimal cancer diagnostic pathways will help improve the timeliness and efficiency of the diagnostic pathway, enabling accelerated access to treatment for those with a cancer diagnosis, while providing reassurance and reducing anxiety for those who do not.

A framework has been developed to decide, based on evidence, the order in which optimal pathways are developed for cancer types in Scotland. The lung cancer diagnostic pathway was published in December 2022 and the head and neck cancer pathway was published in January 2024. Work is now under way to scope an optimal diagnostic pathway for colorectal cancers.