HeadHigh MPs

On Tuesday 28th November we were at UK Parliament, putting lung cancer on the agenda.

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer. It kills more than breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined and yet it receives less research funding per death than many other cancers. That is not right.

Joanna, with husband Rupert, at the HeadHigh photoshoot

I’m a big supporter of social justice so I think it is wrong that the cancer that kills the most people gets less funding than other cancers from the health budget. I want to change that. I want to help make it more equal. It should at least be the same!

Joanna, HeadHigh campaign 2017

We are calling on MPs to re-address this imbalance and are highlighting ways they can help:

  • Ask your cancer alliance how it is progressing the Lung Cancer Optimum Pathway. This will help patients get diagnosed and treated more quickly.
  • Support local and national early detection and awareness initiatives.
  • See how your area is performing on cancer targets.
  • Call on the government to honour its committment in the Cancer Strategy to introducing a national lung cancer screening programme
  • Publicly show your support for the #HeadHigh campaign and our future awareness campaigns.
Tom, with his daughter Camille at the HeadHigh photoshoot

An awful lot of people don’t survive lung cancer; an awful lot of people survive other forms of cancer that have been given funding. If more funding was given to lung cancer, more people would surviv. It’s up to the MPs – they’re the ones with their hands on the purse-strings that can sort this out and save our lives.

Tom, HeadHigh campaign 2017

In addition to this, each key MP will receive a 2018 calendar, with each month featuring one of the people from the #HeadHigh campaign.

We are asking they take a minute to look through it. Really look and see that lung cancer can, and does, affect anyone, from a 17-year-old trainee nurse to young mothers, through to grandparents or even great-grandparents. Because we know anyone with lungs can get lung cancer and they need their help.

If they really want to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer, they need to invest in research; and those living with lung cancer need them to invest in support services to improve their quality of life while they’re still here.

Thanks to amazing research work, treatments for lung cancer have advanced to the extent that this disease is no longer an automatic ‘death sentence’. Yet still just 38% of people survive for a year or more. Surely we should all expect better?

So we’re asking MPs not to ignore us but instead look into the eyes of the people in this calendar. They can help to save or extend their lives, give them more time with their families. They have the ability to make it happen. They have the power to make lung cancer a priority. Now they need to do it.