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The UK’s record on hitting cancer targets is a national disgrace, writes Johnny Jenkins
12 February 2024, 08:34 | Updated: 12 February 2024, 08:36
In the same week that the King was diagnosed with cancer, the NHS recorded its worst cancer waiting times on record.
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When the pandemic hit, professors and researchers worked together to focus on one thing: a vaccine to fight coronavirus.
The rollout in Britain and around the world was a success and life has become normal again.
We need to have the same energy focused on tackling cancer - the disease which one in two of us will experience in our lifetime.
Last year, 100,000 patients waited longer than necessary for life-saving cancer care. These are the worst stats on record.
The cancer charity Macmillan says these figures are “shocking”, but they’re not. That’s the scandal.
The King’s diagnosis shows us that cancer can affect anyone. No matter who gets the diagnosis, they deserve to be treated effectively and on time.
Leading the discussions about the disease last week was oncologist Pat Price, who runs the Catch Up With Cancer campaign. She’s an inspirational campaigner and every politician needs to listen to her.
Speaking recently, Price said "we are not investing enough in cancer treatment”, arguing it is a capacity issue. Put less diplomatically, it's a funding issue.
Tackling cancer waiting times and finding a cure must be a top priority for both the government and the NHS.
The King will be receiving world-class treatment for his ‘form of cancer’, led by a team of royal medical professionals.
This level of care must be extended to all cancer patients. I’m not asking for every Brit to be assigned a team of doctors following their every move. I’m just asking for basic targets to be met.
We all know somebody who has been affected by cancer. We all know of somebody whose life has been cut short by the disease.
Between you and I - and statistically, one of us will get cancer - we all deserve top-tier treatment.
Let’s channel the spirit which delivered the Covid vaccine to improve prospects for people with cancer.
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