More people can share their experiences and views on how the country can lead the world on cancer care, as the Health and Social Care Secretary announces an extension on the cancer call for evidence to inform an ambitious 10-Year Cancer Plan.
Cancer is the biggest cause of death from disease in the UK but it does not affect everyone equally. Black men for example have the highest mortality from prostate cancer and people from Caribbean or Pakistani backgrounds are more likely than white British people to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a later stage, when it is harder to treat.
The government wants to hear from everyone - whether a patient or a friend or family member affected by this disease. Cancer affects some groups in different ways so the government is particularly keen to hear from people from ethnic minority backgrounds to help us improve how we diagnose and treat this disease.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
My father died from cancer and wished he had taken the early signs much more seriously. But unfortunately for him, like so many people from ethnic minority communities, it was detected too late.
No one should feel ashamed in coming forward to their doctor or going to a cancer screening - this is all about making sure you get the care you need and living a longer and healthier life.
We are extending the cancer call for evidence to inform our 10 year Cancer Plan to better understand why people aren't coming forward, how we can improve early diagnosis to save more lives and we need to hear from you. We know disparities exist and I would encourage everyone to share their views on gov.uk by Friday 8 April."
The Health and Social Care Secretary set out his vision to make England a world-leader in cancer care as we learn to live with Covid - with renewed attention paid to innovative treatment and early diagnosis to radically improve outcomes for cancer patients.
Cancer care has improved - in the last 15 years, one-year survival has increased by around 10%. But the pandemic has impacted cancer care with 50,000 fewer cancer diagnoses across the UK during the pandemic.
The government's cancer priorities include:
- increasing the number of people diagnosed at an early stage, where treatment can prove much more effective;
- boosting the cancer workforce;
- tackling disparities and inequalities, including in cancer diagnosis times and ensuring recovery from the pandemic is delivered in a fair way. For instance, the 'Help Us Help You' cancer awareness campaign will be directed towards people from more deprived groups and ethnic minorities;
- intensifying research on mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for cancer - this will be achieved through the UK's global leadership and supporting industry to develop new cancer treatments by combining expertise in cancer immunotherapy treatment and the vaccine capabilities developed throughout the pandemic;
- intensifying research on new early diagnostic tools to catch cancer at an earlier stage; and
- improving prevention of cancer through tackling the big known risk factors such as smoking.
The call for evidence can be found here.