CALLS are being made for a rapid cancer diagnostic regional hub to be developed in Gwynedd.

Arfon Assembly Member Siân Gwenllian has called on the Welsh Labour Government to invest in a lifesaving cancer care centre.

The move comes as mortality figures reveal that cancer is the single biggest cause of death in north Wales.

During questions to the Health Minister in the Senedd, the Plaid Cymru AM cited successful trials in south Wales as examples of how diagnostic centres save lives.

She said people in Gwynedd, over 1,200 of whom have already signed an open letter supporting the establishing of a rapid diagnostic centre, deserve parity of care.

A study carried out by Swansea University's Centre for Health and Economics found that waiting times for patients seen at rapid diagnostic centres were cut to less than six days, a 92% reduction in waiting times in the first year.

Siân Gwenllian said: "We know that early diagnosis of cancer leads to better outcomes for patients.

"Quite simply, in many cases it’s the difference between life and death.

"We know that early diagnosis is critical to improve patient outcomes. This is why we need to roll-out more diagnostic centres across Wales, particularly in rural north Wales and specifically here in Gwynedd.’

"The Welsh Government has piloted rapid diagnostic centres in the two of the south Wales health board areas and they’ve been hailed a massive success.

"Patients in Gwynedd deserve parity of service, which is why the Welsh Government should invest in the development of a diagnostic centre here, to ensure early diagnosis and better outcomes for our patients."