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Cancer is the term used to describe over 200 different types of a disease in which abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way and have the ability to invade other tissue. Oncology is the study of cancer.


Cancer services cover a broad spectrum of NHS care, including:

  •  health promotion campaigns

  • screening services

  • diagnostic services

  • surgical care

  • chemotherapy

  • radiotherapy

  • palliative care

  • long term disease management


The National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) has developed a programme of work looking at the key patient safety issues in cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


The NRLS also respond to cancer specific issues generated from the Reporting and Learning System and the cancer community.


Search below for NRLS publication on cancer and oncology, including thematic reviews and alerts.

TitleIssue dateType
Anti-cancer medicines28 October 2010Guidance
Never Events Annual Report 2009/1008 October 2010Data report
Implementing 'Towards Safer Radiotherapy'13 July 2010Guidance
Delayed diagnosis of cancer: Thematic review26 March 2010Data report
Never Events - Framework: Update for 2010-1124 March 2010Guidance
High Hazards- summary and full report01 March 2010Guidance
Pembury: summary report01 March 2010Guidance
Design for patient safety: user testing in the development of medical devices01 March 2010Guidance
Oxygen safety in hospitals | Rapid Response Report29 September 2009Alert
Radiotherapy self-assessment tool01 April 2009Toolkit