Mobilising for Change: #CatchUpWithCancer
On January 31st, 2024, Pancreatic Cancer Action took a significant step in our mission to increase the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer by participating in a collaborative event alongside over 30 other cancer charities that was done as part of the World Cancer Day activities during the build-up to the global campaign on Sunday 4th February 2024.
This partnership allowed us to amplify our voice and engage with key stakeholders, including media representatives and Members of Parliament (MPs) at Westminster. The event served as a platform to raise awareness, advocate for change, and advance crucial initiatives aimed at addressing the challenges faced by individuals affected by all cancer types.
We took the opportunity to communicate our message by speaking to journalists from prominent media outlets such as the BBC and ITV. As part of a coalition of over 30 charities led by Radiotherapy UK, we were able to engage with more than 50 MPs during the event.
During these discussions with MPs, we highlighted the challenges confronting our community and thanks to this, several MPs committed to prioritising research efforts within their constituencies to better understand how they can help us. Also, we asked all MPs present to sign an open letter to the Prime Minister, urging the government to develop a comprehensive Cancer Care Plan. This garnered cross-party support and is an important step forward in being able to hold the government to account and force them to take action.
Beyond engaging with MPs and media representatives, we took the opportunity to speak with multiple cancer charities present at the event. By fostering these relationships, we seek to strengthen our efforts, share best practices, and collectively drive progress towards the early detection of not just pancreatic cancer, but many others too.
All participating charities present used the Green Card system to request an audience with their respective MPs, including our own Abi Haines. Her MP is Steve Brine, who is the Chairperson of the Health Select Committee, sadly he recently lost his own father to pancreatic cancer. We have already been in contact with him, and we hope he can become a fierce advocate within Westminster for all those who have been affected by this awful disease.
This event was a victory for the entire cancer community, and it shows the importance of collective action as it helps us all amplify our voices far beyond our own. We will always remain steadfast in our commitment to amplifying the voice of the pancreatic cancer community, advocating for improved care and support, and driving towards a future when as many people survive pancreatic cancer as possible.