Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, marked this year’s World Cancer Day by meeting with Beverley resident Karen Smith.
He met her at Radiotherapy4Life’s event in Parliament to raise awareness of the need for better access to local radiotherapy services across the country and for Beverley and Holderness residents.
Radiotherapy is one of the UK’s most frequently used cancer treatments, with around 1 in 4 people needing it at some point in their lives.
Cancer remains the leading cause of death in the UK, and the number of new cases is projected to rise to over half a million a year by 2035. This figure currently stands at roughly 360,000.
The Government has committed to improving survival rates so that from 2028, 55,000 more people survive their cancer each year.
The NHS Long Term Plan places prevention at its core, with as many as 4 in 10 cancers being preventable through reducing exposure to carcinogens, but also places emphasis on earlier diagnosis, and earlier and more advanced treatments.
The Radiotherapy4Life campaign has released the results of a mapping analysis showing that 3.5 million people in England live further away than the recommended 45-minute travel time to the nearest radiotherapy centre, and their parliamentary event on World Cancer Day sought to bring to light the need to improve and increase services as demand for them looks set to rise.
“Although cancer survival rates are now at a record high, with 7,000 more people alive today who otherwise wouldn’t have been, this report by Radiotherapy4Life shows that there’s still more to do to improve cancer care.
“We’re investing £130 million to upgrade radiotherapy machines across England as well as commission new, state-of-the-art ‘proton beam’ facilities in Manchester and London. We want faster and more effective radiotherapy so that people have shorter treatment times with fewer side effects.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to speak with Karen, who works at Weston Park Cancer Centre across in Sheffield, and learn more about what needs to be done to improve radiotherapy across the country.”
In October 2018, measures were announced to see three-quarters of all cancer detected at an early stage, while £600 million has been set aside to deliver the Cancer Strategy for England.