Justin Madders MP with nurse Mercia Jensen, a campaigns ambassador for Cancer Research UK.
Justin Madders MP with nurse Mercia Jensen, a campaigns ambassador for Cancer Research UK.

A RENEWED focus needs to be made on improving cancer survival rates in the UK, says a MP.

Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston and formerly Shadow Health spokesperson, was among politicians who joined a special World Cancer Day event at Westminster.

The Cancer Research UK occasion focuses each February on an international initiative to inspire individuals and communities to unite against the disease, bearing in mind that nearly 50 per cent in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime.

Mr Madders met with Cancer Research UK staff, researchers and campaigners to discuss how to speed up progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating the disease.

Developed with insights from cancer patients and experts from across health, life sciences, government and academic sectors, the charity has recently published an ambitious cancer plan: Longer, better lives: a manifesto for cancer research and care.

It sets out a raft of key measures that, if adopted in the UK, could help avoid 20,000 cancer deaths a year by 2040.

Recommendations in the manifesto include the introduction of measures to end cancers caused by smoking, such as the proposed legislation to raise the age of sale of tobacco products; improved early detection of cancer through initiatives including a lung screening programme; greater investment in research; and action to ensure cancer wait time targets are met.

Mr Madders said: “Incredible progress has been made in the fight against cancer and survival in the UK has doubled in the last 50 years, but there’s still much further to go.

“People could benefit hugely from the proposals in Cancer Research UK’s manifesto and its vital mission to help avoid 20,000 cancer deaths a year in the UK by 2040 is one that we should all get behind.”

Cancer Research UK public affairs manager Ian Caleb added: “Cancer is the defining health issue of our time and uniting to beat it has never been more important. By working together, with strong leadership and political will, that we can drastically improve cancer outcomes.

“We were delighted to speak to so many MPs and Peers in Parliament to mark this important day and highlight the opportunities ahead to elevate UK cancer survival to amongst the best in the world.”

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