A few people have emailed me about world cancer day and improving outcomes for cancer sufferers.

It is very encouraging to note that UK cancer survival rates have never been higher. This is good progress, but I believe there is still more to be done.

I am therefore pleased that the Government is working with the NHS, charities and patient groups to deliver the cancer strategy developed by the independent Cancer Taskforce. It has committed to ensuring that by 2020, everyone urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer will receive either a definitive diagnosis or the all-clear within four weeks. The Government is supporting this by investing up to £300 million a year by 2020 to increase diagnostic capacity, along with a national training programme for an additional 200 staff with the skills and expertise to carry out endoscopy tests by 2018. In addition, NHS England has also announced a £130 million fund to modernise radiotherapy across England.

Early diagnosis of cancer is key, and the Government is very aware of this, so a series of 'Be Clear on Cancer' campaigns has been run in order to raise public awareness of the symptoms of cancer. I know that the Government also remains committed to the £1.2 billion Cancer Drugs Fund which has helped over 95,000 people to access the life-extending drugs they need.

Regarding the event in Westminster on 1st Feb, diary commitments that day mean that I am unfortunately unable to attend. However, I know that improving outcomes for cancer sufferers is a major priority for the Government, and I fully support the work it is doing on this.


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