Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, attended Cancer Research UK’s parliamentary event to discover more about the power of research which, every week, saves more than five times as many lives as there are seats in the chamber of the House of Commons.
This astonishing fact means over 2,800 people will survive cancer every week thanks to research.
Mr Metcalfe said: “It’s a real eye-opener to visualise the number of lives saved in terms of seats in the House of Commons. It is truly inspiring to see what research can achieve. That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s campaign to make every moment count in the fight against cancer and I’m encouraging everyone to join me.”
Every year around 30,300 people in the East of England and more than 330,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. This means that 45 per cent of those people will survive the disease for more than 10 years.
Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. The charity’s researchers have played a key role in the research leading to some of the landmark advances in treatment including tamoxifen for breast cancer and cisplatin for testicular cancer.
However, despite the successes, Cancer Research UK believes much more can be done to help more people in the East of England and across the UK beat cancer sooner.
The focus of the reception was on the importance of early diagnosis, radiotherapy and surgery in helping to save more lives.
Cancer Research UK’s Head of Policy, Sara Osborne, said: “It’s great to have Stephen Metcalfe MP’s support to highlight the power of research in saving lives and to raise awareness of how much more we need to do to ensure no-one’s life is cut short by cancer.”
“Although more people are beating the disease than ever before, survival rates in the UK still lag behind the best in Europe for nearly all common cancers. This must change and that’s why we need everyone to back our campaign for improvements in all areas of the patient’s journey, from earlier diagnosis to access to the best treatments.”
She continued: “The number of people being diagnosed with cancer is set to rise steeply by 2030 so we need everyone to make every moment count. Evidence shows that early diagnosis helps save lives. That’s why we believe it’s imperative for funding to continue for public awareness programmes which boost knowledge of the signs and symptoms of cancer as well as removing the barriers to accessing breast, bowel and cervical screening.”
“We know how effective radiotherapy is in treating cancer. Radiotherapy and surgery are responsible for around 90 per cent of cases where cancer is cured. That’s why Cancer Research UK wants to ensure all patients across the UK can access vital, innovative radiotherapy and surgery treatment as soon as possible.”
For more information on how to get involved, visit www.cruk.org