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  • Opinion

Opinion: ‘The UK must be more ambitious than just clearing the cancer backlog’

Professor Charles Swanton
by Charles Swanton | Opinion

24 May 2021

70 comments 70 comments

Lung cancer CT scan
3,000 to 4,000 cancer deaths a year could be prevented by lung cancer CT screening programmes, beyond current lung health checks, writes Professor Charles Swanton.

Comment and opinion from Cancer Research UK’s community of experts. The opinions outlined in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Cancer Research UK.

Despite staff working flat out, the pandemic has been devastating for NHS cancer services.

Cancer Research UK estimates that 3 million fewer people were screened for cancer between March and September last year, meaning around 9,200 fewer patients started cancer treatment as a result in England alone – a 42% drop.

And the charity’s latest analysis suggests that around 45,000 fewer people were diagnosed with cancer than expected last year – people undiagnosed in the community but not yet in the system.

Of course, NHS staff have been working tirelessly to protect and reconfigure cancer services, and figures from March reveal that more people are now being seen than ever before. Nevertheless, a substantial cancer backlog remains that must be urgently cleared.

But just clearing this backlog isn’t enough. Achieving Cancer Research UK’s vision of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034 will mean going further: boosting cancer services beyond pre-pandemic levels, and renewing national research capacity and infrastructure.

It will also mean ‘levelling up, ’ addressing long-standing, unacceptable, cancer inequalities across the UK, which equate to around 20,000 more cancer cases each year.

For diseases like lung cancer, which disproportionally affects more deprived groups, “levelling up” means greater investment in smoking cessation services, and in CT imaging of high-risk individuals with smoking histories. 3,000 to 4,000 cancer deaths a year could be prevented by lung cancer CT screening programmes, beyond current lung health checks.

When it comes to diagnosing other cancers, this means easier and rapid access to diagnostic tests and investigations. Health services already have a roadmap for this, with the recent Independent Review of Diagnostic Services, chaired by Sir Mike Richards, leading to roll-out of rapid diagnostic centres.

We also have to focus on ensuring equality of care across the country. In my speciality, the proportion of early-stage lung cancer patients having surgery to remove their tumour varies hugely across England. If patients aren’t receiving surgery that we know saves lives, something must change.

This will require substantial investment in staff and diagnostic equipment. The UK went into the pandemic with fewer specialists and fewer scanners than most comparable countries.

Since then, data from the Rapid Cancer Registration dataset collected between April and September 2020 shows that fewer people were diagnosed with lung cancer last year than expected. I worry that this will lead to more people presenting with later stage, harder to treat disease.

In addition to these disruptions, cancer clinical trials were put on hold for the best part of a year and drug development slowed. This, in turn, will have slowed down future improvements in cancer care, which depend on the research and clinical trials of today.

In the last decade we’ve seen huge breakthroughs, for example in cancer immunotherapy, now a real hope for people with late as well as early stage cancers. We need to develop the next big ‘immunotherapies’ of tomorrow. Such breakthroughs require investment today in discovery “blue skies” science.

Take osimertinib – an extremely effective lung cancer drug, recently approved by NHS England to prevent recurrence after surgery, in patients whose tumours contain a defective copy of a gene called EGFR.

This gene was first associated with cancer in the 80s by Cancer Research UK scientists studying the links between viruses and cancer. The drugs developed off the back of this have transformed survival rates for certain forms of lung cancer.

We need the Government to invest in the country’s discovery science infrastructure and ensure a conveyor-belt of new scientific discoveries to help patients of tomorrow.

Getting to the next level

We went into COVID-19 with cancer services that needed improvement. We’re coming out with a long waiting list and many people in our communities with undiagnosed cancers. And we’re almost a year behind on life-saving cancer research.

Now is the time to build something better. It will require investment on multiple levels – workforce, equipment, primary care, diagnostic centres and the clinical research scientists who will help deliver the medical breakthroughs our patients so desperately need. And investment in our great tradition of world-renowned biomedical research, which gave the world scientists like Godfrey Hounsfield, Rosalind Franklin, Ernst Chain and Dorothy Hodgkin, and, consequently, a mastery of cancer imaging, DNA structure, penicillin and protein structures that have resulted in immeasurable benefit for patients.

With the right approach, we can emerge from this pandemic with better, world-leading, cancer outcomes. A cancer pathway that is more innovative, flexible and better equipped. All within a health system and a world-leading clinical research infrastructure that continuously strives to improve outcomes, providing patients and future generations with their best chance of survival.

About the author

Professor Charles Swanton chief clinician Cancer Research UK

Professor Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician.

Professor Charles Swanton was appointed Chief Clinician for Cancer Research UK in October 2017. He has responsibility for the strategy and shape of the Charity’s clinical activities, both in clinical research and in the wider context of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Swanton completed his MDPhD in 1999 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories and Cancer Research UK clinician/scientist medical oncology training in 2008. He combines his laboratory research at the Francis Crick Institute with clinical duties at UCLH and as director of the CRUK Lung Cancer Centre, focussed on how tumours evolve over space and time. Charles has helped to define the branched evolutionary histories of solid tumours, processes that drive cancer cell-to-cell variation in the form of new cancer mutations or chromosomal instabilities, and the impact of such cancer diversity on effective immune surveillance and clinical outcome.

Charles was made Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in April 2011, appointed Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015, Napier Professor in Cancer by the Royal Society in 2016, appointed Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician in 2017, and elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018.


    Comments

  • Andrew Colbert
    11 October 2021

    Its terrible this government need to act now please stop letting people die its unnecessary

  • Natasha
    12 July 2021

    All very good and very behind in appointments and treatments, hope you will catch up with the GAP as our lives are Important and we only live once.

  • Tony
    10 July 2021

    Yes, agree. Even before pandemic, I feel the NHS was stretched as even seeing my G P for routine appointments was difficult

  • Angie Last
    10 July 2021

    Having received the benefit of cancer treatment 16 years ago I consider it’s vital for research and screening to progress. More research also into the part that fast food plays in the instances of the disease should urgently be considered.

  • Lynne Hodges
    10 July 2021

    I live with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma ,treated for High Grade with Chemotherapy five years ago . There is no treatment for the low grade version I have left to live with . More finances are needed from our government to find further treatments for cancers that have no cure for .

  • Mr Harry Glover
    9 July 2021

    The government should invest more in research

  • Chris
    9 July 2021

    As usual with a government too little too late for a lot of people

  • Phil Ginn
    8 July 2021

    The NHS should be proactive and better at diagnosing cancer, it would us the agony and save them a fortune.

  • Patti Banks
    8 July 2021

    Take the focus off covid is a huge start

  • NORRIS BOSWORTH
    7 July 2021

    I think we should stop wasting money on non essential high speed railways and spend it on the NHS. Which is essential!

  • Jacqueline Wilkinson
    7 July 2021

    Diagnosis predominantly begins with the patient’s GP (primary care), but recent pathways to prevent patients access to face to face consultations with a GP WILL no doubt have an impact on the lack of diagnosing, E consult triage system and over zealous reception staff makes it impossible for many to speak freely to their doctor. I fear in years to come this will be reflected upon and deemed a contributor to under diagnosing.

  • Lisa
    7 July 2021

    Having seen someone very close to me fight three different cancers and in the end lost his fight and a mother who has also fought cancer. This needs to be forefront in getting people screened and treated

  • Ian Murie
    7 July 2021

    It’s pathetic as much of the NHS has become through underfunding by the tories . The UK ‘s biggest and best asset that is envied world wide will be in tatters if we do not take heed and swiftly amend and increase our health spending . I’d be happy to increase my contributions , most of us would, if it goes in the right direction !

  • Dominique Willisseck
    7 July 2021

    Having had cancer myself I was very grateful that it was detected at a routine mammogram. If it had not been for routine mammogram my cancer would have developed further. Early detection at routine tests is Essential.

  • Peter Streete
    7 July 2021

    This government must get its priorities right, football, music events, nightclubs are part of many people’s lives, but surely the health of the population is far more important, as is the future of our NHS – this must not fail.

  • frank
    7 July 2021

    stop pretending the nhs is brilliant… its been failing for years but noone is allowed to say anything against it

  • Dorina Carecci
    7 July 2021

    Definitely need to fast track any appts from doctors to the hospital for scans etc..

  • KAREN FRASER
    7 July 2021

    Much more investment in smoking cessation clinics, alcohol, drug and mental health recovery services, homelessness and in tackling obesity.
    Last year it was nigh on impossible to get a G.P. appointment to be referred on, and many people were too frightened to visit the surgery or worried about bothering the doctor in any case. Think the whole process needs to be much more user friendly so that the disease can be caught early.

  • Mark
    7 July 2021

    One in two of us will get it, I’ll support in anyway I can .

  • Ali Bailey
    7 July 2021

    Aiming higher than clearing the backlog means trying to catch up on the advances the pandemic has slowed as well as ensuring everyone gets the care they need. Government must see the importance of long term investment in better health outcomes for all.

  • Catherine Bridges
    7 July 2021

    Will you be starting a petition to spotlight this issue……. ⭐️ …..

  • Tony Wright
    7 July 2021

    Come on! Be realistic. Are you suffering from short memory or something? The hospitals have been bogged down with the covid cases for the last 18 months. Of course other problems have had to be sidelined, even important ones like cancer scans. But what do you expect the Health Minister to do? He’s not a magician!

  • John Devlin
    7 July 2021

    I totally agree with what is said

  • Kylie
    7 July 2021

    Cancer should be taken serious at all times and be in the same category and treated as a matter of high priority just like covid as they both kill and spread just the same

  • Mark
    7 July 2021

    It’s a catastrophe on an epic scale

  • Brenda Green
    7 July 2021

    So much happening now, great progress and so many trials being undertaken by cancer survivors. My grandson is one of them and this fills me personally with hope for the future.

  • John Wharton
    7 July 2021

    Perhaps more mobile Units being set up that way its independent from the hospitals….

  • Stewart Legg
    7 July 2021

    In my opinion the whole system needs to be reformed, there is way too much red tape and bureaucracy that just eats away at funds needed for correct use. Politicians who have never worked on the front can’t know how to solve problems

  • Neil Hardy-Lofaro
    7 July 2021

    He must invest in diagnostics, interventional therapies and robotic surgery. We must consider stand alone (or next door to acute) protected in patient facilities for all major sites and not forgetting laboratory technology. Cancer and very urgent non-cancer capacity MUST have some protection from winter demand.

  • Susan Jex
    7 July 2021

    The government should be ashamed of how many people have missed screening or operations everyone is equally important when it comes to health. Get more money poured into the NHS and pay the staff better !

  • Emma Cunningham
    7 July 2021

    It is vital that this is made a priority and cancer services can return to the days before Covid.

  • Kerry Lee Crabbe
    7 July 2021

    Simple:
    Tories out.

  • Keith Cardwell
    7 July 2021

    It is a must do, so many people going without treatment is a seriously sad situation.

  • Maureen George
    7 July 2021

    I’m my opinion it’s a lottery.
    What I would like to say is that I’ve had bowel and thyroid cancer and I owe my life to the medical staff who spotted my enlarged thyroid and the X-ray that showed bowel cancer.

  • Allan
    7 July 2021

    3 million ? Cancer tests/treatment were reduced so any deaths could be added to the Covid-19 figures.

  • Sarah Khan
    7 July 2021

    These are such important issues and inequalities urgently need to be addressed- there are too many people affected awaiting vital treatment when they could be receiving help sooner.

  • Brenda Allen
    7 July 2021

    NHS need to keep there promise to see any suspect cancer conditions within 2 weeks. They have been ignored because of Covid it’s not right.

  • Maureen
    7 July 2021

    I’m 74 now. I’ve had cancer twice bowel and thyroid). I think so many more lives would be saved if there was more information about symptoms and visible signs of cancer. That’s how my doctor noticed my thyroid was swollen and referred me for an X-ray. Upshot was I had my thyroid removed and I live to fight another day👍

  • Rosemary Armstrong
    7 July 2021

    Put more money into early testing. Bring the age testing down. Dont wait till women and men in 50s before a mammogram detects cancer. Also the age for smear tests needs to be shorted to 20s. I know young girls who have cervical cancer so young and they are devastated. The age of testing needs to be changed asap.

  • Doreen Peters
    7 July 2021

    Covid has been a terrible thing, especially with so many people dying, but I do feel it has become an excuse in some part and can be used for delays. Some sort of provision should have been made by the government to keep vital services such as cancer and heart patients still going through OUR NHS. They lacked the foresight for this and still do because services need to be brought back asap and Covid stopped being used as an excuse now. More funding for OUR NHS and more of the supposedly 40 new hospitals should have been built and staffed by now so where are they. More funding, more staff and more of putting peoples health before profit is what is needed. People should not be dispensable for the sake of making money.

  • Wendy Murphy
    7 July 2021

    Dreadful, I’ve been in 3 Hospital for cancer and seen them deserted with far too many nurses office clerks and cleaning staff hanging about chatting( probably bored ) about outings family get togethers, surely this could be managed better, not casting dispersants on staff not their remit, since easing off restrictions, better management is definitely required, I did the poo test and it showed abnormal blood which I didn’t see and had no symptoms, 2 weeks later I had half my bowel removed and have had regular check ups and blood tests since and so far all clear, so grateful to NHS, but come on this checking for cancer to important for poor management and politics. Wendy Murphy🦋

  • Helen jones
    7 July 2021

    My Nephew died 7 weeks ago of glioblastoma multiforme ,a brain cancer which started in his spine.
    He suffered so much became paralysed, we tried everything, fundraising to get him to Germany, ran out of time..
    Terminator Cancer!!!
    1% of funds raised go to this rare cancer.
    Nothing has changed in years, it kills so many under the age of 40..

  • jordan DUNCAN
    7 July 2021

    Sectretary sajid Needs to due more fundraisers and fun days days to help raise money for cancer my granny has cancer

  • Joy Lee
    7 July 2021

    Totally agree with all of it

  • Margaret Little
    7 July 2021

    If the UIK Government and the Scottish Government put as much effort into cancer research as they did with COVID. There needs to be stats published showing how much money CRUK get from charity and what the Government contribution is. That might shame them into ploughing money into research

  • Clare Jennings
    7 July 2021

    This will affect everyone of us as it’s 1 in 2 that will get cancer. The Government can not ignore this.

  • Norah Johnson
    7 July 2021

    I was so lucky that my breast screening appointment picked up cancer in both breasts resulting in bilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal now on letrozole for 5 years . I really am so grateful to my breast care clinic and my surgeon . I now donate to cancer research monthly and I have made significant donations to my local breast care clinic . I am concerned for all those who were missed during pandemic .

  • Alexandra Cunningham
    7 July 2021

    I’ve had cancer myself and it went undetected till it reached stage 4 and I couldn’t eat move sleep I think if more mobile units were placed in poverty stricken areas were people who can’t afford bus fare or can’t get out would benefit from earlier detection I know if there was a mobile unit near me I would have been diagnosed quicker but it took 18 months of doctor visits blood tests biopsy’s upon biopsy could’ve been avoided!

  • Norah Johnson
    7 July 2021

    I was so lucky that my breast screening appointment picked up cancer in both breasts resulting in bilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal now on letrozole for 5 years . I really am so grateful to my breast care clinic and my surgeon . I now donate to cancer research monthly and I have made significant donations to my local breast care clinic . I am concerned for all those who were missed during pandemic .

  • Denise Dowson
    7 July 2021

    As a young woman aged 24 I had cervical cancer.
    Thank goodness for the speedy treatment I had and I fully recovered.
    If I was living in these times I would have died.
    My heart goes out to the hundreds who aren’t getting the same speedy treatment.
    This needs to change ‘fast’

  • Debbie hughes
    7 July 2021

    I had breast surgery yesterday x delayed monogram

    It has all gone wrong

  • Sue Wilby
    7 July 2021

    By far our family were heartbreakingly affected by the lack of screening for Cancer and it just happened to be it was an aggressive Stage 3/4 Primary Peritoneal Cancer… She never survived a year and was diagnosed during the Pandemic…. Appallingly treated. No Consultations with Medics. Appointments all done on ZOOM. CA 125 Blood Test done far too late….We’re heartbroken….

  • Stephen Lowe
    7 July 2021

    I agree that it is fundament that we do more than simply clear the backlog of cancer treatments. A someone who benefitted from early diagnosis and treatment I know how important this is and feel so sorry for those who have not had the same.

  • Milind
    7 July 2021

    The UK must lead the world in early diagnosis and prevention of cancer, swiftly deal with the backlog of cases and provide equitable access to each and every individual.

  • Tracey halligan
    7 July 2021

    GPS are not performing as they should people are being fobbed off with phone consultations and not being examined or listened to face to face !

  • Tayler Phelps
    7 July 2021

    LOWER SCREENING AGE

  • Neil Jeffreys
    7 July 2021

    I think the government need to give more funding to cancer charities and research,

  • Tricia Butterfield
    7 July 2021

    They need to seriously address the cancer issue as used Covid as an excuse I have not had my 6 mth check up for eye tumour it is now 10mths and heard nothing

  • Lynda
    7 July 2021

    The new health secretary should stop trying to play god think before he acts get all the facts and make special arrangements for cancer patients. Due to this gov inept handling of the pandemic my husband’s cancer has gone to terminal

  • Angela Baker
    7 July 2021

    GPS need to open so people can have face to face appointments

  • Janet Denby
    7 July 2021

    Need to transfer urgent patients to private’s sectors which will help with Nhs over flow

  • Abdul Basit
    7 July 2021

    Get all the retired doctors back in NHS to help screening and conduct extra evening and weekend clinics.

  • Angi long
    7 July 2021

    I’m sorry, I welfare call 100 seniors per week and their biggest issue is not being able to see a GP. Maybe if the GPs were to start seeing their patients again, more cancers would be identified earlier!!!

  • Ms
    7 July 2021

    Cancer checks should be increased not decreased. This disease KILLS people

  • Jordan Bray
    7 July 2021

    It’s a free health care service weather it could be or not be cancer it’s always better to be safe then sorry

  • Stephen Crawford
    7 July 2021

    Whatever is going on the world we must continue with cancer research the biggest killer,the government should help

  • Michelle Smith
    7 July 2021

    I think this minister needs to meet people suffering the fall out, every day for at least a month, minimum 12 hours

  • Linda Hamilton
    7 July 2021

    Give much more Government funding for Cancer research & treatments !!

  • Clare Furness
    2 July 2021

    I would like to give my view on breast cancer. In the pandemic a few of our friends had been diagnosed with lumps under the breast. As doctors start to say you must start going for scans after 50. But I think it should be for all ages into younger people. If you have family with genetic problems it’s bound to follow down in your children or cousins. Please raise my issue I think this is needed. Hope everything gets better soon to normal life.

  • Patricia McCabe
    1 July 2021

    This affects everyone as one day it could be you.

    Comments

  • Andrew Colbert
    11 October 2021

    Its terrible this government need to act now please stop letting people die its unnecessary

  • Natasha
    12 July 2021

    All very good and very behind in appointments and treatments, hope you will catch up with the GAP as our lives are Important and we only live once.

  • Tony
    10 July 2021

    Yes, agree. Even before pandemic, I feel the NHS was stretched as even seeing my G P for routine appointments was difficult

  • Angie Last
    10 July 2021

    Having received the benefit of cancer treatment 16 years ago I consider it’s vital for research and screening to progress. More research also into the part that fast food plays in the instances of the disease should urgently be considered.

  • Lynne Hodges
    10 July 2021

    I live with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma ,treated for High Grade with Chemotherapy five years ago . There is no treatment for the low grade version I have left to live with . More finances are needed from our government to find further treatments for cancers that have no cure for .

  • Mr Harry Glover
    9 July 2021

    The government should invest more in research

  • Chris
    9 July 2021

    As usual with a government too little too late for a lot of people

  • Phil Ginn
    8 July 2021

    The NHS should be proactive and better at diagnosing cancer, it would us the agony and save them a fortune.

  • Patti Banks
    8 July 2021

    Take the focus off covid is a huge start

  • NORRIS BOSWORTH
    7 July 2021

    I think we should stop wasting money on non essential high speed railways and spend it on the NHS. Which is essential!

  • Jacqueline Wilkinson
    7 July 2021

    Diagnosis predominantly begins with the patient’s GP (primary care), but recent pathways to prevent patients access to face to face consultations with a GP WILL no doubt have an impact on the lack of diagnosing, E consult triage system and over zealous reception staff makes it impossible for many to speak freely to their doctor. I fear in years to come this will be reflected upon and deemed a contributor to under diagnosing.

  • Lisa
    7 July 2021

    Having seen someone very close to me fight three different cancers and in the end lost his fight and a mother who has also fought cancer. This needs to be forefront in getting people screened and treated

  • Ian Murie
    7 July 2021

    It’s pathetic as much of the NHS has become through underfunding by the tories . The UK ‘s biggest and best asset that is envied world wide will be in tatters if we do not take heed and swiftly amend and increase our health spending . I’d be happy to increase my contributions , most of us would, if it goes in the right direction !

  • Dominique Willisseck
    7 July 2021

    Having had cancer myself I was very grateful that it was detected at a routine mammogram. If it had not been for routine mammogram my cancer would have developed further. Early detection at routine tests is Essential.

  • Peter Streete
    7 July 2021

    This government must get its priorities right, football, music events, nightclubs are part of many people’s lives, but surely the health of the population is far more important, as is the future of our NHS – this must not fail.

  • frank
    7 July 2021

    stop pretending the nhs is brilliant… its been failing for years but noone is allowed to say anything against it

  • Dorina Carecci
    7 July 2021

    Definitely need to fast track any appts from doctors to the hospital for scans etc..

  • KAREN FRASER
    7 July 2021

    Much more investment in smoking cessation clinics, alcohol, drug and mental health recovery services, homelessness and in tackling obesity.
    Last year it was nigh on impossible to get a G.P. appointment to be referred on, and many people were too frightened to visit the surgery or worried about bothering the doctor in any case. Think the whole process needs to be much more user friendly so that the disease can be caught early.

  • Mark
    7 July 2021

    One in two of us will get it, I’ll support in anyway I can .

  • Ali Bailey
    7 July 2021

    Aiming higher than clearing the backlog means trying to catch up on the advances the pandemic has slowed as well as ensuring everyone gets the care they need. Government must see the importance of long term investment in better health outcomes for all.

  • Catherine Bridges
    7 July 2021

    Will you be starting a petition to spotlight this issue……. ⭐️ …..

  • Tony Wright
    7 July 2021

    Come on! Be realistic. Are you suffering from short memory or something? The hospitals have been bogged down with the covid cases for the last 18 months. Of course other problems have had to be sidelined, even important ones like cancer scans. But what do you expect the Health Minister to do? He’s not a magician!

  • John Devlin
    7 July 2021

    I totally agree with what is said

  • Kylie
    7 July 2021

    Cancer should be taken serious at all times and be in the same category and treated as a matter of high priority just like covid as they both kill and spread just the same

  • Mark
    7 July 2021

    It’s a catastrophe on an epic scale

  • Brenda Green
    7 July 2021

    So much happening now, great progress and so many trials being undertaken by cancer survivors. My grandson is one of them and this fills me personally with hope for the future.

  • John Wharton
    7 July 2021

    Perhaps more mobile Units being set up that way its independent from the hospitals….

  • Stewart Legg
    7 July 2021

    In my opinion the whole system needs to be reformed, there is way too much red tape and bureaucracy that just eats away at funds needed for correct use. Politicians who have never worked on the front can’t know how to solve problems

  • Neil Hardy-Lofaro
    7 July 2021

    He must invest in diagnostics, interventional therapies and robotic surgery. We must consider stand alone (or next door to acute) protected in patient facilities for all major sites and not forgetting laboratory technology. Cancer and very urgent non-cancer capacity MUST have some protection from winter demand.

  • Susan Jex
    7 July 2021

    The government should be ashamed of how many people have missed screening or operations everyone is equally important when it comes to health. Get more money poured into the NHS and pay the staff better !

  • Emma Cunningham
    7 July 2021

    It is vital that this is made a priority and cancer services can return to the days before Covid.

  • Kerry Lee Crabbe
    7 July 2021

    Simple:
    Tories out.

  • Keith Cardwell
    7 July 2021

    It is a must do, so many people going without treatment is a seriously sad situation.

  • Maureen George
    7 July 2021

    I’m my opinion it’s a lottery.
    What I would like to say is that I’ve had bowel and thyroid cancer and I owe my life to the medical staff who spotted my enlarged thyroid and the X-ray that showed bowel cancer.

  • Allan
    7 July 2021

    3 million ? Cancer tests/treatment were reduced so any deaths could be added to the Covid-19 figures.

  • Sarah Khan
    7 July 2021

    These are such important issues and inequalities urgently need to be addressed- there are too many people affected awaiting vital treatment when they could be receiving help sooner.

  • Brenda Allen
    7 July 2021

    NHS need to keep there promise to see any suspect cancer conditions within 2 weeks. They have been ignored because of Covid it’s not right.

  • Maureen
    7 July 2021

    I’m 74 now. I’ve had cancer twice bowel and thyroid). I think so many more lives would be saved if there was more information about symptoms and visible signs of cancer. That’s how my doctor noticed my thyroid was swollen and referred me for an X-ray. Upshot was I had my thyroid removed and I live to fight another day👍

  • Rosemary Armstrong
    7 July 2021

    Put more money into early testing. Bring the age testing down. Dont wait till women and men in 50s before a mammogram detects cancer. Also the age for smear tests needs to be shorted to 20s. I know young girls who have cervical cancer so young and they are devastated. The age of testing needs to be changed asap.

  • Doreen Peters
    7 July 2021

    Covid has been a terrible thing, especially with so many people dying, but I do feel it has become an excuse in some part and can be used for delays. Some sort of provision should have been made by the government to keep vital services such as cancer and heart patients still going through OUR NHS. They lacked the foresight for this and still do because services need to be brought back asap and Covid stopped being used as an excuse now. More funding for OUR NHS and more of the supposedly 40 new hospitals should have been built and staffed by now so where are they. More funding, more staff and more of putting peoples health before profit is what is needed. People should not be dispensable for the sake of making money.

  • Wendy Murphy
    7 July 2021

    Dreadful, I’ve been in 3 Hospital for cancer and seen them deserted with far too many nurses office clerks and cleaning staff hanging about chatting( probably bored ) about outings family get togethers, surely this could be managed better, not casting dispersants on staff not their remit, since easing off restrictions, better management is definitely required, I did the poo test and it showed abnormal blood which I didn’t see and had no symptoms, 2 weeks later I had half my bowel removed and have had regular check ups and blood tests since and so far all clear, so grateful to NHS, but come on this checking for cancer to important for poor management and politics. Wendy Murphy🦋

  • Helen jones
    7 July 2021

    My Nephew died 7 weeks ago of glioblastoma multiforme ,a brain cancer which started in his spine.
    He suffered so much became paralysed, we tried everything, fundraising to get him to Germany, ran out of time..
    Terminator Cancer!!!
    1% of funds raised go to this rare cancer.
    Nothing has changed in years, it kills so many under the age of 40..

  • jordan DUNCAN
    7 July 2021

    Sectretary sajid Needs to due more fundraisers and fun days days to help raise money for cancer my granny has cancer

  • Joy Lee
    7 July 2021

    Totally agree with all of it

  • Margaret Little
    7 July 2021

    If the UIK Government and the Scottish Government put as much effort into cancer research as they did with COVID. There needs to be stats published showing how much money CRUK get from charity and what the Government contribution is. That might shame them into ploughing money into research

  • Clare Jennings
    7 July 2021

    This will affect everyone of us as it’s 1 in 2 that will get cancer. The Government can not ignore this.

  • Norah Johnson
    7 July 2021

    I was so lucky that my breast screening appointment picked up cancer in both breasts resulting in bilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal now on letrozole for 5 years . I really am so grateful to my breast care clinic and my surgeon . I now donate to cancer research monthly and I have made significant donations to my local breast care clinic . I am concerned for all those who were missed during pandemic .

  • Alexandra Cunningham
    7 July 2021

    I’ve had cancer myself and it went undetected till it reached stage 4 and I couldn’t eat move sleep I think if more mobile units were placed in poverty stricken areas were people who can’t afford bus fare or can’t get out would benefit from earlier detection I know if there was a mobile unit near me I would have been diagnosed quicker but it took 18 months of doctor visits blood tests biopsy’s upon biopsy could’ve been avoided!

  • Norah Johnson
    7 July 2021

    I was so lucky that my breast screening appointment picked up cancer in both breasts resulting in bilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal now on letrozole for 5 years . I really am so grateful to my breast care clinic and my surgeon . I now donate to cancer research monthly and I have made significant donations to my local breast care clinic . I am concerned for all those who were missed during pandemic .

  • Denise Dowson
    7 July 2021

    As a young woman aged 24 I had cervical cancer.
    Thank goodness for the speedy treatment I had and I fully recovered.
    If I was living in these times I would have died.
    My heart goes out to the hundreds who aren’t getting the same speedy treatment.
    This needs to change ‘fast’

  • Debbie hughes
    7 July 2021

    I had breast surgery yesterday x delayed monogram

    It has all gone wrong

  • Sue Wilby
    7 July 2021

    By far our family were heartbreakingly affected by the lack of screening for Cancer and it just happened to be it was an aggressive Stage 3/4 Primary Peritoneal Cancer… She never survived a year and was diagnosed during the Pandemic…. Appallingly treated. No Consultations with Medics. Appointments all done on ZOOM. CA 125 Blood Test done far too late….We’re heartbroken….

  • Stephen Lowe
    7 July 2021

    I agree that it is fundament that we do more than simply clear the backlog of cancer treatments. A someone who benefitted from early diagnosis and treatment I know how important this is and feel so sorry for those who have not had the same.

  • Milind
    7 July 2021

    The UK must lead the world in early diagnosis and prevention of cancer, swiftly deal with the backlog of cases and provide equitable access to each and every individual.

  • Tracey halligan
    7 July 2021

    GPS are not performing as they should people are being fobbed off with phone consultations and not being examined or listened to face to face !

  • Tayler Phelps
    7 July 2021

    LOWER SCREENING AGE

  • Neil Jeffreys
    7 July 2021

    I think the government need to give more funding to cancer charities and research,

  • Tricia Butterfield
    7 July 2021

    They need to seriously address the cancer issue as used Covid as an excuse I have not had my 6 mth check up for eye tumour it is now 10mths and heard nothing

  • Lynda
    7 July 2021

    The new health secretary should stop trying to play god think before he acts get all the facts and make special arrangements for cancer patients. Due to this gov inept handling of the pandemic my husband’s cancer has gone to terminal

  • Angela Baker
    7 July 2021

    GPS need to open so people can have face to face appointments

  • Janet Denby
    7 July 2021

    Need to transfer urgent patients to private’s sectors which will help with Nhs over flow

  • Abdul Basit
    7 July 2021

    Get all the retired doctors back in NHS to help screening and conduct extra evening and weekend clinics.

  • Angi long
    7 July 2021

    I’m sorry, I welfare call 100 seniors per week and their biggest issue is not being able to see a GP. Maybe if the GPs were to start seeing their patients again, more cancers would be identified earlier!!!

  • Ms
    7 July 2021

    Cancer checks should be increased not decreased. This disease KILLS people

  • Jordan Bray
    7 July 2021

    It’s a free health care service weather it could be or not be cancer it’s always better to be safe then sorry

  • Stephen Crawford
    7 July 2021

    Whatever is going on the world we must continue with cancer research the biggest killer,the government should help

  • Michelle Smith
    7 July 2021

    I think this minister needs to meet people suffering the fall out, every day for at least a month, minimum 12 hours

  • Linda Hamilton
    7 July 2021

    Give much more Government funding for Cancer research & treatments !!

  • Clare Furness
    2 July 2021

    I would like to give my view on breast cancer. In the pandemic a few of our friends had been diagnosed with lumps under the breast. As doctors start to say you must start going for scans after 50. But I think it should be for all ages into younger people. If you have family with genetic problems it’s bound to follow down in your children or cousins. Please raise my issue I think this is needed. Hope everything gets better soon to normal life.

  • Patricia McCabe
    1 July 2021

    This affects everyone as one day it could be you.