I recognise the great contribution made by charities such as Cancer Research UK in driving forward progress in this field, which 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 research is vital in order to increase survival rates.
Cancer survival rates are at a record high and we are on track to save an estimated 12,000 more lives a year for people diagnosed between 2011 and 2015. As of March 2017, figures show that at least 7,000 more people per year are surviving cancer than three years previously.
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.