The number of people diagnosed with cancer during an emergency A and E visit is falling, research suggests.

One in five patients (20%) were diagnosed this way in 2013, down from almost 25% in 2006.

At the same time, there has been a rise in the number of people diagnosed following urgent referral to a specialist by their GP - known as the two-week wait.

The data was presented at the Public Health England (PHE) conference in Warwick.

Julia Verne, head of clinical epidemiology at PHE, said: "The latest Routes to Diagnosis data shows a positive trend in how cancer is diagnosed in England.

"The reason this is good news is because patients diagnosed as an emergency presentation have lower chances of survival compared to those diagnosed in other routes."

She said more work was needed because A and E visits resulting in a cancer diagnosis were still high for some types, such as pancreatic and liver cancer.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: "It's really encouraging to see fewer people being diagnosed through emergency routes, because we know survival is poorer and the experience is worse for these patients.

"When cancer is caught early, we have more options for treatments and a far better chance of beating the disease.

"But we must still do better. It's unacceptable to see such variation in patient care continuing, and too many people are still being diagnosed as an emergency in hospital."