I have signed Cancer Research's letter to the Government calling for more NHS staff to be trained to detect cancer sooner and I recognise the great contribution made by charities such as Cancer Research UK in driving forward progress in this field. This is of particular importance to me as I am a Co-Chair for the Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer.
This Government is committed to improving cancer outcomes throughout the UK, and Ministers recognise that investing in both research and increased testing is vital in order to increase survival rates.
The Government along with Cancer Research UK, are jointly funding a network of 18 experimental cancer medicine centres aimed at driving the development and testing of new anti-cancer treatments.
The Government is working with the NHS, charities and patient groups to deliver the new cancer strategy developed by the independent Cancer Taskforce. It has committed to ensuring that by 2020, everyone referred with a suspicion of cancer will receive either a definitive diagnosis or the all-clear within four weeks. The Government is supporting this by investing up to £300 million a year by 2020 to increase diagnostic capacity, along with a national training programme for an additional 200 staff to carry out endoscopy tests by 2018.
The £1.2 billion Cancer Drugs Fund has helped over 95,000 people and I continue to support the Government's commitment to increase NHS spending in England by £10 billion in real terms by 2020/21.
I have also hosted a number of promotional events at the House of Commons for the Breast Cancer charities