Future of cancer – reset required

2 min read

Brain Tumour Research attended the launch of The future of cancer care in the UK – time for a radical and sustainable National Cancer Plan report by the Lancet Oncology. 

The report highlights the current cancer crisis and proposes a 10-point sustainable cancer plan. It reports that there are severe and widening disparities across the country and “survival rates remain unacceptably poor for many cancers” and continues that the current crisis has deep historic roots, and to be reversed, “the full scale of the challenge must be acknowledged and a fundamental reset is required”. 

The authors cite several issues hampering cancer care including: 

  • Underinvestment and lack of workforce are being compounded by increased service demands
  • Fragmentation is a growing problem between devolved nations, between primary and secondary care, between commissioning bodies, and between cancer centres 
  • The detrimental impact on patients of the decision to scrap the National Cancer Research Institute and the report also criticises the National Cancer Control Plan in England and Wales 

Brain Tumour Research agrees with the report’s statement that research is an important driver of better health outcomes. 

A need for significant improvement in the area of cancer and young people is identified. In particular, children and young adult trial recruitment still lags behind that for adults due to a combination of few trials and poor consideration of specific needs. Drug development for young people with cancer remains “a major unmet need”. 

Speaking at the launch, Radiotherapy All-Party Parliamentary Group Chair, Tim Farron MP, commended the report before adding that it was “in everyone’s interest, in Parliament, to work with Government to do things better”.  

Our Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Thomas Brayford, commented: “The report gives an honest appraisal of the current state of cancer treatment, care and research in the UK. Brain Tumour Research supports this blueprint to tackle the current cancer crisis.” 

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