Nick Smith MP for Blaenau Gwent is backing calls for more research into less survivable cancers.
Nick Smith MP met members of the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce in the House of Commons today (February 4) to coincide with World Cancer Day.
The LSCT represents six ‘less survivable cancers’, lung, liver, brain, oesophageal, pancreatic and stomach, which have an average five-year survival rate of 14% due to what the taskforce calls “a legacy of neglect and under-funding”.
The Taskforce aims to double the survivability of these cancers to 28% by 2029.
At the event Nick Smith MP heard about the critical situation for people diagnosed with these cancers and the urgent need for targeted investment into research in order to make much-needed diagnosis and treatment breakthroughs.
Mr Smith said: “I am pleased to speak out for the less survivable cancers this World Cancer Day.
“Some incredible progress has been made in treatment and prognosis for many cancers but what we need now is improved funding into research and targeted action to close the deadly cancer gap.”
Anna Jewell, Chair of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce added: “We are delighted that Nick Smith shares our concerns about the stark inequalities in cancer outcomes.
“There are some cancers which have seen remarkable progress in survivability but others that are just as deadly as they were decades ago. Together, these ‘less survivable cancers’ make up half of all common cancer deaths in the UK.
“Today we are calling on the UK Governments to commit to doubling survival rates from 14% to 28% by 2029 and I’d like to thank Mr Smith for supporting our campaign to close the deadly cancer gap.”
The LSCT includes Action Against Heartburn, the British Liver Trust, Guts UK, Pancreatic Cancer UK, The Brain Tumour Charity and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
Sarah Lindsell, Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, added: “Every year, thousands of people diagnosed with a less-survivable cancer, including those with brain cancer, are denied even the hope of a cure. Many are told they have only months to live. That has to change.
“We need more research and a committed drive towards improving survival for these cancers, so that fewer lives are cut brutally short and fewer families are left devastated by loss.”