Someone is diagnosed with cancer every 90 seconds in the UK. My dad was one of them. I lost him to this horrendous disease and know too well the pain and grief that comes with it. By the time he was diagnosed, the cancer had already spread and it was too late.
I want to thank all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly to keep cancer services going for more than half a million cancer patients during the pandemic. Undoubtedly though, cancer care has taken a hit.
While we are among the best in Europe for diagnosis of some cancers, compared to other countries, we sadly lag behind on many more. And as we learn to live with Covid-19, it’s my mission to change that.
That’s why this World Cancer Day I’m launching a call for evidence for a new Ten Year Cancer Plan for England – to understand what lessons can be learned and how we can lead the world on cancer care.
Work is already under way that is making a difference. We’re launching 100 Community Diagnostic Centres – one-stop shops for easier and faster access to cancer tests.
Milton Keynes hospital is the first hospital in Europe to use state-of-the-art surgical robots for major gynaecological surgery.
The NHS is also piloting a device that can examine patients painlessly by swallowing a camera pill, avoiding the need for a colonoscopy.
In addition, we’re investing record funding into the NHS – an extra £2billion this year and £8billion over the next three years to cut waiting times. This includes by delivering millions of additional checks, scans and operations.
But we need to go further and faster. There is so much we can do.
I am determined to prevent as many people as possible from getting cancer in the first place. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors, with six million smokers in England, and obesity also plays a major role in increasing your likelihood of getting cancer.
I also want people to get earlier diagnosis so we save more lives. The sooner you are diagnosed, the faster you can be treated and the more likely you will survive. Screening for cancers needs to be open to more people.
Finally, we must make the most of technology and new treatments. It is very possible new approaches could transform the way we detect cancer or develop vaccines like the HPV vaccine to stop it in its tracks.
Tackling cancer is a top priority for me, and I want us to lead the way in Europe in treating all cancers.
This is a national war on cancer and we need the nation’s help. I want to hear from all of you to shape our Ten Year Cancer Plan.
You can also read the article on the Mail online website, at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10474839/SAJID-JAVID-need-un…