Poplar and Limehouse MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, is backing an appeal from Cancer Research UK to save the lives of more cancer patients, as news comes that one in two people will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.
The new figure was announced on World Cancer Day (February 4) to highlight the urgent need to bolster public health and NHS cancer services so they can cope with a growing and ageing population and the looming demands for better diagnostics, treatments, and earlier diagnosis.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP attended a parliamentary event held by Cancer Research UK to mark World Cancer Day and encourage MPs to support their Cross Cancer Out campaign.
In the run up to the General Election, the charity is calling on candidates to back measures to ensure cancer patients receive the best treatment and are diagnosed early enough for that treatment to make a difference.
UK cancer survival rates are still lagging behind the best in Europe and in England nearly half of all cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully.
Cancer Research UK says that support for public awareness campaigns, increasing screening uptake and ensuring equal access to innovative evidence-based treatments are key to saving more lives.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “We cannot underestimate the devastating impact that cancer will have on people in Poplar and Limehouse now and in the future. The good news is that Cancer Research UK is making huge advances in the battle against the disease.
“But with more than three people diagnosed with cancer every hour in London* and this number set to rise, it’s vital that we detect cancer earlier across the UK and that the NHS is fit to offer all patients the best possible chance of surviving.
“I’m backing the Cross Cancer Out campaign, because it’s clear that MPs have a crucial role to play in helping to beat cancer sooner. The political drive to beat the disease must match the pace of progress in research.”
Layla Theiner, Head of Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK, said: “The increase in the lifetime risk of getting cancer is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when the disease is more common.
“We can’t avoid growing older, but we can prevent a crisis in the future by acting now to make our NHS cancer services among the best in the world.
“Without increased political support we could see the death toll from cancer rising in the UK and so early diagnosis and better treatments must be key priorities for the next Government.
“That’s why we’re calling on MPs and parliamentary candidates from all political parties to commit to ‘Cross Cancer Out’ and help ensure no-one’s life is cut short by this devastating disease.” For more information and ways to get involved in the campaign, visit cruk.org/crosscancerout or join the conversation on twitter #CrossCancerOut.