The NHS in England has now missed its flagship cancer target for more than 1,000 days with one in four patients facing delays getting treatment.
Hospitals are meant to start treatment within 62 days of a GP referral – and have been set a target of achieving that for 85% of patients.
But latest figures, for January, showed 76.2% were seen on time – the worst performance since records began.
The last time the target was met was in December 2015.
In fact, monthly figures show the target has only been met three times in the past five years.
During that time, 130,000 patients have waited longer than they should for their life-saving treatment.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all expect 95% of patients to be seen in 62 days.