11th January 2024

‘Close the gap’ demands less survivable cancer charities

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Today [Thursday 11th January] is less survivable cancer awareness day and members of the less survivable cancer taskforce (LSCT), including Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, are calling for measures to improve outcomes for the six less survivable common cancers: liver, brain, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach and, of course, lung cancers.

Over 90,000 people will be diagnosed with one of those six cancers, with lung cancer attributing to over half of all cases. Despite these staggering numbers, only 16% of people diagnosed with one of these cancers will survive for five years or more.

Existing pan-cancer commitments, ambitions and targets have led to less survivable cancers being overlooked and under resourced. Dedicated action and investment from the Government and NHS are urgently needed.

Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce

Paula Chadwick is the chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation:

“Data shows that, out of 33 countries of comparable wealth and income levels, the UK ranks 28th for five-year survival for both stomach and lung cancer. This is unacceptable.

“To drive progress in these least survivable cancers, we are calling on the Government and all political parties to set a target which aims to double survival rates by the end of the decade and recommend that a focused national approach such as an Action Plan or Task and Finish Group is needed to achieve this.

“So, today we are asking our supporters to help amplify our calls by sharing our messages on social media and by writing to their local MP to pledge their support to these targets. Too many families are losing loved ones and it must stop.”