I attended Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event in Parliament last week. This was an important opportunity to hear from those living with cancer.
This year’s event provided a really important opportunity to hear more about the financial, physical and emotional challenges that people can face after finishing cancer treatment.
I also welcomed the chance to learn more about the support that Macmillan offers to people affected by cancer. Whilst a cancer experience is always significant – life with cancer is still life – and it was great to hear about how Macmillan supports people to live it in the best possible way.
In the recent Westminster Hall Debate on the future of breast cancer, colleagues were keen to highlight the geographical inequalities in diagnosis and care which particularly affect those diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. This is indeed a concern, particularly in areas where secondary diagnoses are still not being recorded.
More widely, I am disappointed that the sustained underfunding of our NHS has pushed our health service to the brink and I believe it is patients who are paying the price. The Government has repeatedly missed the cancer waiting time target and there are almost 100,000 staff vacancies across our health service.
In order to get the best outcome for patients we must proactively identify and address problems within existing care structure. Only then can we continue to work toward eliminating this cruel disease.