Julian marks World Cancer Day
January 31, 2024
As part of events to mark World Cancer Day, Julian joined Pancreatic Cancer UK and the #CatchUpWithCancer campaign as part of their parliamentary events.
This was a great chance for Julian to meet with frontline cancer staff, oncologists, patients, and charities to discuss the experiences they have had, the challenges that they have faced, and the action they are jointly calling for to tackle worsening cancer crisis.
Over the last year, Julian has attended numerous Parliamentary drop in events to raise awareness over the urgent need to ensure that we secure improved patient experiences and health outcomes, increase access to early diagnosis and a firm commitment to increasing research and development. The events are incredibly important as they better inform Julian on the challenges that health workers and patients encounter, as well as serve as a fantastic opportunity to increase awareness of often rare and less heard of forms of cancer.
It is so important that people receive an early diagnosis and subsequent treatment to ensure that those with a cancer diagnosis have best chance of beating this cruel disease. The COVID-19 pandemic created a backlog of cases with many treatments and diagnosis during the pandemic missed. This situation has been exacerbated by an increase in demand for NHS services, however, this is not something of which we can stand idyll by.
The UK is a world leader in cancer research and that the Government continues to prioritise this investment to ensure that we improve cancer survival rates. It is vital that we continue to ensure that Government, charities, and the private sector work collectively to tackle cancer challenges, and this is perfectly demonstrated through the £47.5 million partnership between Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research and the Little Princess Trust to deliver early phases of clinical research, which will generate new treatments for future generations.
Furthermore, there has been a further investment of £22.5 million into research to develop immune-based cancer therapies, along with the Department for Health and Social Care partnering up with BioNTech SE, with the hope of delivering 10,000 doses of personalised therapies to UK patients by 2030.
Julian is also very much supportive of the Government’s Major Conditions Strategy which offers a fantastic opportunity that we must seize to develop new treatments, integrate care, and diagnose care earlier to improve both cancer survival rates and quality of life for everyone living with cancer. The strategy is thought to be published later this year and Julian will be paying very close attention to this.
Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) are a fantastic initiative that will ensure that people receive a timely diagnosis. The Prime Minister rightly made cutting NHS waiting lists one of his five priorities for his Government and CDCs are a crucial part of achieving this as they will contribute to this mission by providing access to earlier diagnostic tests. It was encouraging to learn that as of November 2023, 141 CDCs are operational with over 6 million tests taking place across England. Thanks to £2.3 billion of Government investment, 160 CDCs will be open by March 2024 – a year ahead of schedule.
Julian continues to engage with government ministers in the Department for Health and Social Care in the hope of improving access to early diagnosis, greater public awareness of varying types of cancer, improved health outcomes, and the need for the UK to continue being a world leader in cancer research.
Following the event, Julian commented
“It was great to have the opportunity to mark World Cancer Day 2024 by meeting with with frontline cancer staff, oncologists, patients, and charities about the desperate need to tackle the challenges associated with cancer.
“I remain incredibly passionate about investing the time, effort, and money in cancer research to ensure that we achieve better patient experiences and health outcomes. It is an absolute priority for me that we see cancer survival rates improve an that the UK continues to be a world leader in cancer research.
“It is clear that a great effort is being made through various measures to tackle cancer, improve access to early diagnosis, and improve survival rates, however, we can’t take our foot off the pedal and I will continue to push the Government on this”