Each year around 330,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer and this figure is expected to rise to 425,000 by 2030. Cancer Research UK are pioneers in developing effective and revolutionary treatments which save lives every day. I recently attended an event at Westminster with Cancer Research UK to discuss campaigning issues. I recognise the important work that Cancer Research UK does in developing treatments, as well as in maintaining public awareness of the causes of cancer and the need for continued public support.
Early diagnosis is critical to improving cancer survival. It is concerning that Cancer Research UK has warned that pathology services are at a tipping point with a 17% rise in patients waiting at least six weeks for tests.
At the General Election I stood on a manifesto that pledged to guarantee a maximum one-week wait for cancer tests. Labour also pledged to create a new Cancer Treatments Fund to improve access to drugs, radiotherapy and surgery.
Statistics show that several of the Conservative Government's key cancer targets are not being met. It is deeply worrying that more than 130,000 patients a year have not been receiving cancer treatment on time because they did not see a cancer specialist within the required 14 days. Cancer care is not immune from the financial crisis facing the NHS and it is clear investment has not kept up with demand and the quality of care is suffering as a result.
We need to keep cancer at the top of the agenda in this new Parliament. Among the statistics about cancer is the fact the 2 million people across the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in the next five years.
I will join the fight against this disease to help ensure that more cancers are diagnosed and treated earlier, when they can be treated more successfully.