Back the Cancer Strategy
Macmillan was part of an Independent Taskforce created to make recommendations on how to improve patient experience and increase cancer survival rates in England. This Taskforce proposed a new five-year Cancer Strategy for England. If fully funded and implemented, its recommendations will help mitigate the increasing costs of care and significantly improve quality of life for people affected by cancer.
Cancer Cash Crisis – Counting the cost of care beyond treatment makes the case for government and the NHS to fully fund and implement the recommendations laid out in the Cancer Strategy so that everyone with cancer gets the best possible care and support. Download report [PDF, 4.74MB].
Our report highlights the following issues:
- The cost of cancer goes far beyond treatment. Our new figures estimate that by 2020, £1bn a year will be spent on treating the long term consequences of cancer treatment. As the number of people living with cancer increases, so will the costs of after-care – putting increasing strain on the NHS.
- Emergency care should be a last resort for people living with cancer, but our new figures show that the NHS spends more than £500 million a year on emergency care for people diagnosed with the four most common cancers alone. This puts additional pressure on overstretched A&E departments, and indicates a system which is failing to help people recover well and enjoy a good quality of life.
Macmillan is making the following urgent recommendations:
- The Cancer Strategy, which Macmillan helped to shape, sets out a range of solutions that will help mitigate the increase in the cost of care beyond treatment and significantly improve the lives of people with cancer.
- The government and NHS must fully fund the Cancer Strategy now or the quality of care, and people’s chances of a well-managed recovery and long-term quality of life, will only deteriorate. Delaying the funding of the Cancer Strategy will cost more than doing nothing. Investing in health services now will deliver the best possible value while improving the lives of millions of people with cancer.
The story doesn’t end when treatment finishes: many people live with the effects of cancer for the rest of their life. Vivek’s story illustrates why the NHS needs the money to care for people far beyond their initial treatment.
Vivek was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2006 after he noticed a blind spot in his eye and went to the opticians. He still suffers from a number of side effects following his treatment which require ongoing medical support. Despite this, Vivek has taken cancer in his stride and tried to deal with things as they happened.
'The brain tumour was underneath the brain on the pituitary gland, and my pituitary gland doesn’t work anymore because of that, so my body doesn’t produce its own hormones. Which means I now have to take tablets for the rest of my life and have injections every three weeks.'
Read Vivek’s story>
Vivek’s story illustrates that the cost of cancer care goes far beyond treatment. Our new report Cancer Cash Crisis: Counting the cost of care beyond treatment makes the case for government and the NHS to fully fund and implement the Cancer Strategy. If the Cancer Strategy isn’t implemented, people like Vivek may not get the long-term support they need as the NHS struggles to fund the cost of care for people far beyond their initial treatment.