A cancer charity has demanded emergency investment in the NHS after only one health board met the legal target to start treating diagnosed patients in time.
Nearly one in five people with the disease waited more than two months for care in Scotland in the last quarter of 2018, including 75 in Tayside and Fife.
Cancer Research UK said the waiting time data published by NHS Scotland reveal a “service under huge strain”.
The official figures, which cover October to December last year, show that 82.7% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer received treatment within the 62-day target.
Both Tayside (82.1%) and Fife (87.1%) fell below the Scottish Government target of 95%, which was only met by NHS Lanarkshire.
Gregor McNie, Cancer Research UK’s head of external affairs in Scotland, said: “If the NHS is to meet increasing demand, as well as diagnose as many patients as early as possible, the Scottish Government must plan to meet current and future need.
“New ways of organising services are needed, along with new investment which must reach the front line without delay.”
Scottish Conservative Miles Briggs said they would introduce a fast-track diagnostic service for cancer patients to improve performance.
Monica Lennon, for Scottish Labour, said her party want a two-week waiting time as she called on the Health Secretary to “set out in detail how she will urgently increase capacity in cancer detection”.
A separate 31-day standard was met by nine of the 15 health boards, including Fife but not Tayside.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman said there have been improvements but “some patients are waiting too long from urgent referral to treatment”.
“I have been clear with health boards that cancer patients must continue to be prioritised,” the SNP MSP said.