More people can share their experiences and views on how the country can lead the world in cancer care as the Health and Social Care Secretary announces an expansion of the call for cancer evidence to inform an ambitious 10-year cancer plan.
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in the UK, but it does not affect everyone equally. Black men, for example, have the highest mortality from prostate cancer, and people of Caribbean or Pakistani descent are more likely than white Britons to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a later stage, when it is more difficult to treat.
The government wants to hear from everyone – whether it’s a patient or a friend or family member affected by this disease. Cancer affects certain groups in different ways, which is why the government is particularly keen to hear from people from ethnic minorities to help us improve the way we diagnose and treat this disease.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
My father died of cancer and wished he had taken the first signs much more seriously. But unfortunately for him, like so many people from ethnic minority communities, it was detected too late.
No one should be ashamed to go to their doctor or go for a cancer screening – it’s about making sure you get the care you need and live a longer, healthier life.
We are extending the call for cancer evidence to inform our 10-year cancer plan to better understand why people are not coming forward, how we can improve early diagnosis to save more lives, and we need to hear you. We know there are disparities and I encourage everyone to share their views on gov.uk by Friday 8th April.”
The Health and Social Care Secretary has set out his vision to make England a world leader in cancer care as we learn to live with Covid – with renewed focus on innovative treatments and early diagnosis to improve drastically the results for cancer patients.
Cancer management has improved – over the past 15 years, one-year survival has increased by about 10%. But the pandemic has had an impact on cancer care with 50,000 fewer cancer diagnoses across the UK during the pandemic.
Government cancer priorities include:
- increase the number of people diagnosed at an early stage, where treatment can be much more effective;
- boosting the cancer workforce;
- address disparities and inequalities, including in cancer diagnosis delays and ensure that recovery from the pandemic is done in an equitable manner. For example, the cancer awareness campaign “Help us help you” will target people from the most disadvantaged groups and ethnic minorities;
- stepping up research into mRNA vaccines and cancer treatments – this will be achieved through the UK’s global leadership and supporting industry to develop new cancer treatments by combining expertise in treating cancer immunotherapy and vaccine capabilities developed throughout the pandemic;
- intensify research on new early diagnosis tools to detect cancer at an earlier stage; and
- improve cancer prevention by tackling major known risk factors such as smoking.
The call for submissions is available here.