CANCER patients in the North are dying needlessly because of long waits for treatment, a report is expected to reveal this week.

MPs on the Commons public accounts committee have found that sufferers in the North stand less chance of getting life-saving treatment than people in the South.

Their report is likely to confirm a National Audit Commission report last March, which found that cancer patients in the North-East had the lowest survival rates in the country because of a "postcode lottery".

The new report is expected to conclude that a third of cancer patients are still not referred quickly enough by their GP.