Cancer Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 8th December 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons) 4:58 pm, 8th December 2016

I thank the Minister for his response to what he was right to say has been a very good debate among critical friends, to steal the excellent point made by my hon. Friend Mrs Hodgson. My hon. Friend Jim Fitzpatrick and the hon. Members for Bosworth (David Tredinnick) and for Harrow East (Bob Blackman) all highlighted the importance of public health measures, and particularly smoking cessation campaigns, in preventing cancer. We are reassured that we will have the plan “soon”.

Henry Smith, who is the chair of the all-party group on blood cancer, spoke movingly from personal experience about how blood cancers thunder into people’s lives unexpectedly. Rebecca Harris, who is chair of the all-party group on brain tumours, echoed that in much that she said about the need to do something about these cancers that are stuck. She reminded us that brain cancer is the biggest killer of young people, and she was right to say that although the cancer strategy is a strong step in the right direction, we need to do more. Jim Shannon echoed the point that we need to do even better. As the hon. Member for Bosworth said, if we have moved from 60% to 70%, why not to 80%? Jo Churchill, a cancer survivor herself, posed a series of very challenging questions—exactly the sort of questions that should drive better performance as we move forward.

We are at a pivotal moment for the cancer services. I know that many people will be heartened by the Minister’s comments both today and on Tuesday, at the Britain Against Cancer event. He was right to say that it is easy to write strategies, but now is the time to deliver.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered the Cancer Strategy one year on.