Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, got on board with the campaign to diagnose cancer earlier last week as Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Awareness roadshow made a special stop at Parliament.
Mr Smith met with the charity’s roadshow nurses and campaigners to learn more about how cancer affects people in Blaenau Gwent.
The roadshow team travels across the UK helping the public recognise possible signs and symptoms of cancer and talking about lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their cancer risk.
Nick Smith MP said: “Around 3,600 people in the Aneurin Bevan Health Board area are diagnosed with cancer every year.
“Some of these are preventable cancers caused by things like smoking and obesity, things we need to continue to work towards tackling in areas like Blaenau Gwent.
“Some of these cancers can be treated more effectively through earlier diagnosis.
“In our health board area just 54% of people issued with a bowel cancer screening kit actually use it, this is something I am keen to work with the health board to improve.
“In all cases, early detection saves lives, so it was really helpful to meet the roadshow team at Cancer Research UK and learn more about spotting cancer early, as well as the great work being done to beat the disease.
“Events like this are important reminders we can all play a part in the fight against cancer, whether it be researchers, campaigners or the tireless fundraisers across Blaenau Gwent who are helping to support life-saving research.”
Diagnosing cancer earlier – when it is more likely to be treated successfully – is a vital part of ensuring more people survive cancer.
However, with a growing and ageing population, Cancer Research UK projects that by 2035 we will have more than 500,000 new cancer cases every year – one new case every minute.
Without governments across the UK planning the future of the cancer workforce, there will not be enough specialist staff to meet the present pressures or cope with the increased demand.
Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigning at Cancer Research UK, said: “A big thank you to Nick Smith for coming along today and taking the time to learn about the challenges facing cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment today.
“Cancer survival rates are lower in the UK than in comparable countries.
“We want to see all four nations tackle this problem head on, so that everyone across the UK has the best possible chance of surviving this devastating disease.”