Alex backs campaign for earlier cancer diagnosis

Stockton North Labour MP, Alex Cunningham, has shown his support for improving earlier cancer diagnosis while attending an All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) event in Parliament.

The event marked the success of the APPGC and wider cancer community in getting crucial one-year cancer survival data presented in the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Outcomes Indicator Set (OIS), the measure that monitors CCGs’ priorities and improvements.

By putting one-year survival rates up in lights, CCGs will be able to identify where progress is vitally needed and make strides towards improving survival – as late diagnosis makes for poor survival rates.

The UK lags far behind its international and European neighbours in cancer survival. The APPGC believes that this must change. By 2020, almost half of people will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. Cancer survival rates in the UK are among the worst in Europe – not least because many people are diagnosed too late.

At the event, Alex was presented with the cancer survival rates in Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees that showed that 67% of people with cancer will live for a year after diagnosis.

Speaking on the subject, Alex said:

“We know that early diagnosis of cancer often leads to better survival rates for patients.  The one-year cancer survival rates in Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees will help residents to see how the CCG is performing and demand improvements.  As the MP, I will be meeting the CCG leadership to discuss how, together, we can ensure more people survive cancer.

“In Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees only 67% of people live for a year or more after a cancer diagnosis.  More work is needed through earlier diagnosis to increase this number, as the UK still has among the lowest survival rates in Europe.  Better screening uptake, diagnostics at Primary Care, public awareness and GP training are all possible initiatives our local CCG could introduce. Many lives each year could be saved as a result.