Beating bowel cancer together

Government calls for input on new 10-year Cancer Plan

Friday 4 February 2022

Today, on World Cancer Day (Friday 4 February), we met with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid MP, to raise the pressing issues facing bowel cancer patients.

Our Chief Executive, Genevieve Edwards, spoke at a roundtable with the Minister and other leading cancer organisations, ahead of his speech announcing the UK Governments 'war on cancer' and a new call for evidence to inform a 10-year Cancer Plan for England. The Minister also spoke openly of his late father's advanced stage bowel cancer diagnosis.

The 10-year Cancer Plan will look to go further and build on the progress of the NHS Long-Term Plan with a set of new and strengthened priorities, including:

  • improving the numbers of people diagnosed at an early stage, when they have the best chance of survival
  • boosting the NHS cancer workforce
  • tackling inequalities in cancer care
  • intensifying research into treatments and new tools to diagnose cancer early  
  • improving prevention of cancer through tackling the big known risk factors

Genevieve said: "I was pleased to discuss the significant challenges facing bowel cancer diagnosis, treatment and care with the Secretary of State today, and share our vision for how to improve outcomes for everyone affected by the disease. A renewed commitment to improving early diagnosis from the Government is welcomed, and we already have clear evidence on how this can be achieved for bowel cancer.

"Currently fewer than 40% of bowel cancers in the UK are diagnosed at an early stage, and around half of cases could be prevented through a range of measures.

"What is desperately needed is investment in NHS workforce and kit, alongside improvements to the screening programme if we are ever to achieve, or exceed, the ambition of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage and to become a world leader in bowel cancer treatment and outcomes."

The call for evidence to help inform the 10-year Cancer Plan will run for eight weeks until Friday 1 April 2022 and will be seeking input from cancer patients, relatives and NHS staff. Bowel Cancer UK will be submitting a comprehensive response, and asking for your views.

If you'd like to respond individually you can do so here.

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