CALLS are being made for a Gwynedd cancer hub to help speed-up diagnosis and save lives.

Becky Williams, the widow of Bangor cancer campaigner Irfon Williams who inspired thousands with his public battle against the disease, is backing the Plaid Cymru-led campaign.

Becky lost her husband, aged 46, in 2017, three years after he was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. The father of five launched the #teamirfon campaign raising over £150,000 for patients on Ysbyty Gwynedd’s Alaw Unit and the #Hawl i Fyw (Fighting Chance) campaign to raise awareness.

Newly-released UK mortality figures reveal that cancer is the single biggest cause of death in north Wales, with 2,291 of the 8,156 recorded deaths attributable to cancer.

Now calls are being made to the Welsh Government to invest more in cancer diagnostics in north Wales by establishing a rapid diagnostic regional hub in Gwynedd.

Becky Williams said: "I fully support Plaid Cymru’s call for improvement in cancer services in north Wales.

"Wales has some of the poorest outcomes in Europe for bowel cancer, we know that early diagnosis and treatment of not just bowel cancer, but all cancers lead to improved outcomes. Early diagnosis is quite simply the difference between life and death."

Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, in the National Assembly, has called on the Welsh Government to develop a diagnostic centre in Gwynedd to prevent more untimely deaths, citing successful trials in south Wales as examples of how diagnostic centres save lives.

Mabon ap Gwynfor said: "Cancer was the single biggest killer in Dwyfor Meirionnydd in 2018. It accounted for 28% of all deaths in the constituency, 41% of all deaths in the Dolgellau area were due to cancer in 2018.

"Because of our geography, patients from Dwyfor Meirionnydd are travelling much further for treatment, most having to go to Glan Clwyd.

"We need to roll-out more diagnostic centres which reduce the mean time until diagnosis from 84 days to six days. Patients in Dwyfor Meirionnydd and across north Wales deserve parity of service. The Welsh Government should invest in the development of diagnostic centres."