Cancer Research UK has recently launched a manifesto that sets out the measures and commitments it believes the next government should make to help prevent 20,000 cancer deaths every year by 2040. The Manifesto has been developed in collaboration with cancer patients and experts from across health, life sciences, government and academic sectors.
The charity argues, if adopted, it would ensure the UK is amongst the best in the world for cancer survival by 2035.
Even though cancer survival in the UK has doubled over the last 50 years, when compared to similar countries, we fall behind when it comes to how long people live after a cancer diagnosis. According to Cancer Research UK statistics, the five-year relative survival for cancer in men in England of 47% is below the average of 50% for Europe. Wales (47%), Scotland (43%) and Northern Ireland (48%) are also below the European average.
Five-year relative survival for cancer in women in England of 53% is also below the average for Europe (58%). Wales (52%), Scotland (50%) and Northern Ireland (54%) are also below the European average.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, argues that to avoid thousands of people dying, political leaders must unite, and that massive investment and reform is required. She also states that without intervention, it’s their estimation that half a million people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer every year by 2040.
The Manifesto consists of five missions that they believe must be implemented:
1. Rebuild the UK’s global position in biomedical research.
2. Prevent thousands more cancer cases.
3. Diagnose cancers earlier and reduce inequalities.
4. Bring tests, treatments and innovations to patients more quickly.
5. Build a national movement to beat cancer, together.
Commenting on the Manifesto, Co-founder and Honorary President of Prevent Breast Cancer, Lester Barr MBE said:
Under the heading of ‘Prevention’ the manifesto highlights smoking as the top priority, to stop lung cancer deaths. The important thing that Prevent Breast Cancer adds is our growing confidence that there are also ways to prevent breast cancer. The tools we are developing include accurate personalised risk prediction, new technologies for early detection, risk-adapted screening including at a younger age, risk reducing strategies for individuals and for influencing public policy. You can keep up to date with this on our website!
As a cancer charity, Prevent Breast Cancer fully supports the Manifesto and applaud Cancer Research UK, especially as incidence of breast cancer continue to rise across the UK. We also know only too well the current issues affecting breast cancer, including breast imaging staff shortages, the closing of breast centres, inadequate training facilities and lack of appropriate space for vital breast cancer research studies.
Read the full Manifesto online.