A leading cancer charity has warned of worsening waiting times for cancer patients in Wales, according to the latest data.

Macmillan Cancer Support has has expressed its concern as more than 4 in 10 cancer patients experienced delays to the start of their treatment.

The Welsh Goverment's data for April, which was published today, shows that 56.4% of cancer patients started treatment within 62 days. The national target is 75%.

That percentage means that 623 people in Wales faced delays to cancer treatment in April.

In March of this year, the number of cancer patients in Wales receiving their first treatment within 62 days was 58.7%, indicating an increase in waiting times, however backlogs may have been caused by a record month of diagnoses. March was the busiest month on record for Wales's cancer care system with potential diagnosis exceeding 15,000.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said: "This data shows a trend of worsening cancer waiting times in Wales, which mean more than 4 in 10 people with cancer here did not start their treatment on time in April.

"The figures show performance has dipped for the four most common types of cancer – breast, lung, urological and lower gastrointestinal – and the vast majority of cancer types.

"These delays mean they and their loved ones faced distressing and worrying delays, which could impact on the success of their treatment.

"These worrying figures show how our cancer care system is still struggling to cope with demand despite the valiant efforts of NHS staff.

"We need urgent focus to improve cancer care in Wales now and in the future especially as Wales is now working towards a target of 80 per cent of people with cancer being treated on time by 2026".

Welsh Conservative leader, Andrew RT Davies, said: "Cancer is a horrible disease and that little over half of people are being seen within the 62-day target sadly suggests that cancer waiting times could be heading the way of the elective treatment list that has grown to 1-in-5 Welsh people.

"I really do feel for anyone who finds themselves languishing in pain on this directory of the damned. Their day-to-day lives could be severely hamstrung as well as their ability to earn during a cost-of-living crisis.

"Labour need to get a grip on the NHS and stop breaking all the wrong records".

The Welsh Government were approached for comment.