I am proud that the UK is a world leader in cancer research, and I recognise the importance of Government investment in ensuring that we can continue to improve survival and quality of life of cancer patients.
Since 2010, over £882 million in Government funding has been spent on cancer research across the UK. Ground-breaking medical research is funded through the National Institute for Health Research, and spending on cancer research has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £138 million in 2019/20, the largest investment in a disease area.
This funding has supported research that has helped to develop new treatments and increase survival rates over the past decade in the UK.
I know that the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on cancer research, in particular through reduced access to funding for new projects. Therefore, I welcomed the announcement in the Spending Review 2021 that £5 billion will be invested in health-related research and development, which is an increase of £1.2 billion on previous commitments.
Recently, I was pleased to attend a parliamentary drop in event held by Breast Cancer Now on early diagnosis of breast cancer where I spoke to members of the research and care charity about the importance of early diagnosis of breast cancer: https://www.mims-davies.org.uk/news/mims-davies-mp-attends-breast-cance…
Breast screening uptake in Mid Sussex was 67.6% in 2020/21, with uptake dropping compared to before the pandemic.
Reducing waiting times for cancer treatment, including for breast cancer, is an urgent priority for the Government. As part of the 2021 Spending Review, £2.3 billion was allocated to improve diagnostic capacity over the following three years. This will be supported by the Government’s Major Conditions Strategy, a new vision outlining how the UK will lead the world in cancer care.
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed the better the chance of successful treatment, therefore I would encourage women who have been invited to screenings to go and get checked, and all women to check their breasts regularly and speak to their GP if they notice any changes.
Checking your breasts is as easy as TLC:
· Touch your breasts: can you feel anything new or unusual?
· Look for changes: does anything look different to you?
· Check any new or unusual changes with a GP
If you want to find out more information you can check out Breast Cancer Now’s website here: https://breastcancernow.org/
If you or someone you know has been impacted by breast cancer, you may wish to contact their helpline which is staffed by breast cancer nurses, who can answer any questions or concerns you may have. The number is: 0808 800 6000.