A Wearside MP is backing the drive to improve cancer survival rates.
Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson showed her support for improving UK one-year survival rates when she took part in an All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) event in Parliament.
By 2020, almost half of the UK population will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime.
Cancer survival rates in the UK are among the worst in Europe – not least because so many people are diagnosed too late for treatment to be fully effective.
In Sunderland, 69% of people with cancer will live for at least a year after diagnosis, exactly in line with the national average. By comparison, the one-year survival rate in Sweden is 12% higher.
Since April 2015 one-year survival rates have been included in the Delivery Dashboard of the Clinical Commissioning Group Assurance Framework, so Clinical Commissioning Groups are now scrutinised on what they are doing to improve earlier diagnosis, in order to improve local one-year survival rates.
“In our area, only 69% of people live for a year or more after a cancer diagnosis, in Sweden the figure is 81%,” said Sharon Hodgson.
“We need to focus our efforts on working to improve this number, so that more people survive this disease. The UK still has among the lowest survival rates in Europe, and we need better screening, greater public awareness and focused GP training to improve this situation.
“More people are surviving after one year today than they were 10 or 15 years ago, so real progress is possible.
“This progress requires serious effort, however, and I will be campaigning in Parliament to make sure all that can be done to help, will be done.”
The APPGC brings together MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum to debate key issues, and campaign together to improve cancer services.
Mrs Hodgson co-chairs the APPGs on Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer.