19 July 2015
Responding to the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s five-year strategy for cancer, Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
'Macmillan Cancer Support welcomes the publication of the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s cancer strategy for England. It is an important and ambitious document that reflects the issues which matter most to people affected by cancer.
'But this report has to be more than a set of recommendations on paper. It has to inspire action and lead to meaningful improvements for the lives of people with cancer.
'We welcome the reports focus on early diagnosis, but as the report also highlights there is a fundamental need to transform support for people once they have been diagnosed with cancer. This includes ensuring everyone has access to a Recovery Package by 2020.
'There are currently a record-high two million people living with cancer in England. And with this number growing every day, improving cancer care across the country has never been more urgent or important.
'We know that cancer is no longer just about being cured or dying from the disease. More people than ever before are living with cancer and its effects and are struggling to cope with the physical, emotional and financial consequences of the disease.
'It is simply not fair that each year, thousands of cancer patients are shown a lack of compassion, struggling with the debilitating effects of treatment, or denied a ‘good’ death. That’s why we need to see urgent action from the government and NHS to implement and fully fund the recommendations in the strategy.
'In particular Macmillan is pushing for a strong commitment to an ambitious programme of support for people living with and beyond cancer, improvements to cancer patient experience in this country, and stronger leadership at a local and national level to drive change.
'Doing nothing to address this is simply not an option – and if funding is not provided to support people beyond their diagnosis through to end of life, then not only will people affected by cancer suffer the consequences, but cancer costs could spiral out of control for an already-stretched NHS.'
For further information, please contact:
Charlotte Morris, Media and PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2467 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200
today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00
(Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk