Policy and Campaigning

What “declaring a war on cancer” has resulted in

In February, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care Sajid Javid announced the Government’s intention to ‘declare a war on cancer’ and asked for health leaders, charities, and the public to share their views in a call for evidence on a new 10-year cancer plan.

Today, Pancreatic Cancer Action, along with 53 other cancer charities, speak with #OneCancerVoice as we publish our ten tests that the new 10-year cancer plan must meet if it is to be successful, in the ‘One Cancer Voice Cancer Charities’ Consensus Statement’. 

A new plan and focus are essential if we are to improve pancreatic cancer survival rates in England. Pancreatic cancer has under an eight per cent survival rate, and this figure has not improved significantly for over 50 years. Despite it being the fifth biggest cancer killer in the UK, pancreatic cancer receives only three per cent of overall research funding.

The ten tests for the ten-year plan include:

one cancer voice

Pancreatic Cancer Action lobbies the government to allow GPs to make direct referrals for CT scans for suspected pancreatic cancer patients so more people can be diagnosed in time for surgery.

Joe Kirwin, Health, Policy and Projects Manager says “We need the new cancer plan to have a strong and funded focus on early diagnosis, prevention, education and tackling inequalities. Governments are often great at making promises and announcements, what we need to see is action. Pancreatic Cancer Action is committed to holding the government feet to the fire to ensure the best quality patient care for all pancreatic cancer patients.

Pancreatic Cancer Action also pushes for greater investment in equipment such as CT scanners so patients don’t have to sit on endless waiting lists and get the results they need quicker. We are campaigning to increase the number of radiographers and radiologists because there’s no point in having a machine if there isn’t someone they have to operate it.

Together, we can build a better system that puts people first, get more people diagnosed in time for surgery than ever before, and will save lives. To do this, we need to have a plan. A plan that covers the entire cancer pathway and is actually followed through.

We expect the government to publish their response in June. In the meantime, you can

* The term ‘feet to the fire’ means to put pressure on someone to consent to or undertake something, as in, ‘the only way you’ll get him to agree, is to hold his feet to the fire’.