Stop cancer becoming the forgotten 'C'

At Macmillan, we speak to people with cancer every day. We have heard loud and clear how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting them.

People aren’t getting the timely support they need, and vital appointments are being postponed, cancelled or changed. We know the emotional impact of the outbreak is taking its toll on people who are already struggling.

Will you join our campaign to stop cancer becoming the forgotten ‘C’?

Even in a time of crisis, decisions must be made for people with cancer with people with cancer. If we don’t take action now, we’re building up serious problems for the future. That’s why we are calling on all UK Governments to stop cancer becoming the forgotten ‘C’.

We want to see urgent action to:

Make sure people living with cancer can still access treatment safely

  • publish national recovery plans to protect cancer services and reduce the treatment backlog
  • rapidly establish ‘coronavirus-free hubs’ with the required equipment, testing and staff
  • ensure that everyone with cancer has a personalised care and support plan with the emotional, practical and end of life support they need
  • make sure people with cancer symptoms continue to contact their GP.

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Address the immediate concerns of people with cancer who are shielding or at the end of life

  • give all shielding and self-isolating people with cancer the right information and support. That includes access to priority online grocery shopping and emotional support
  • urgently address the need for ‘right to say goodbye’ guidance in Wales and Northern Ireland for people receiving end of life care in their own home. And for governments in England and Scotland to make more families aware of this right in their countries
  • commit extra NHS capacity to end of life care in community settings to support families and carers during COVID-19.

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Take action in your nation

An illustrated map of England with the text 'England' on a purple background. More info

England

We want the Government to publish a plan showing how cancer treatment will return as soon as possible. Latest figures show:

  • almost 18,000 more people with cancer in England could die. The coronavirus pandemic led hospitals to suspend treatment and deter people from seeking NHS care
  • this is an increase of 20% on the 89,576 deaths among cancer patients recorded annually in England
  • urgent GP referrals for cancer tests have fallen by 76%. Chemotherapy appointment referrals have fallen by 60%.

We know that there are millions of people living with cancer who still need the right care, treatment and support right now. We’ve created this guide to help you to take action if you think you are not receiving the right care.

Take action

  • Sign up as a campaigner to help us make sure cancer doesn’t become the forgotten ‘C’.
  • You can also post a message on our Wall of Support to let people living with cancer know that they are not alone.
Northern Ireland More info

Northern Ireland

We want the Northern Ireland Assembly to publish a plan showing how cancer treatment will return as soon as possible. We know that:

  • patient treatment is being changed, postponed or cancelled 
  • routine cancer screening programmes have been paused 
  • without immediate action, cancer services will feel the impact of COVID-19 long into the future.

We know that there are many people living with cancer in Northern Ireland who still need the right care, treatment and support right now. We’ve created Sign up as a campaigner to help us make sure cancer doesn’t become the forgotten ‘C’.

  • You can also post a message on our Wall of Support to let people living with cancer know that they are not alone.
rn Ireland [PDF] (opens in a new window)" target="_blank">this guide to help you to take action if you think you are not receiving the right care.
Scotland More info

Scotland

At the start of June, the Scottish Government published a plan showing how cancer treatment will return over the coming months. We want to see it turned into action on:

  • cancer treatment being rescheduled as soon as possible with cancer patients involved in decision taking
  • clear action being taken to provide covid testing and PPE for staff and cancer patients in the cancer centres
  • we continue to want to see all cancer screening programmes returned at the end of the current pause.

We know that there are many people living with cancer in Scotland who still need the right care, treatment and support right now. We’ve created this guide to help you to take action if you think you are not receiving the right care.

Take action

  • Sign up as a campaigner to help us make sure cancer doesn’t become the forgotten ‘C’.
  • You can also post a message on our Wall of Support to let people living with cancer know that they are not alone.
Wales More info

Wales

We want the Welsh Government to publish a plan for how cancer treatment and screening services will return as soon as possible. We know that:

  • many cancer treatments have been delayed, cancelled or shortened
  • routine screening for bowel, breast and cervical cancer has been put on pause
  • fewer people are contacting their GP with new or persistent cancer symptoms.

We know that there are many people living with cancer in Wales who still need the right care, treatment and support right now. We’ve created this guide to help you to take action if you think you are not receiving the right care.

Take action

  • Sign up as a campaigner to help us make sure cancer doesn’t become the forgotten ‘C’.
  • You can also post a message on our Wall of Support to let people living with cancer know that they are not alone.

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