The British Liver Trust calls on the new government to take action on less survivable cancers.

Posted on: 16th December 2019
The British Liver Trust, along with the five other health charities that form part of the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce, has published a manifesto calling on the new government to do more for less survivable cancer patients.
70,000 people are diagnosed with a less survivable cancer each year in the UK. Despite making up a quarter of all cancer diagnoses they account for nearly half of all deaths. The five year survival rate for people with less survivable cancers is just 14%, compared to 64% for other common cancers.
Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Policy at the British Liver Trust, said: “Primary liver cancer is becoming more common at all ages. It is now the 9th most common cause of cancer death and has the largest increase in mortality over the past 10 years compared to all cancers.
“We need liver cancer and the other less survivable cancers to have the same level of attention and funding that has been given to other cancers which has resulted in huge improvements in survival rates and care.”
We are calling for the government to:
  1. Prioritise less survivable cancers with a target to double survival rates to 28% over the next 10 years
    Successive governments have failed to prioritise and drive improvements in the less survivable cancers, meaning patients have been stuck with poor survival figures that were left behind a generation ago by the more survivable cancers.
  2. Diagnose less survivable cancers earlier
    Only a quarter of less survivable cancers for which we have data are diagnosed at stage one or two compared to one half of all common cancers. Earlier diagnosis would mean earlier, more effective, treatment.
  3. Address inequalities in research funding
    Less survivable cancers received one quarter of the amount of research funding given to other common cancers by the government between 2007-2016, which have a higher rate of survival.
  4. Invest in the NHS’s cancer workforce for the long term
    Close to three in four staff in non-surgical oncology services view staff shortages as a barrier to providing efficient cancer treatments.
  5. Inform the public about the symptoms of less survivable cancers
    For example, two thirds of UK adults say they are unaware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. This lack of awareness means many people do not seek help before it is too late.
  6. Ensure more patients are given the option of a clinical trial
    Clinical trials are vital to find ways to diagnose these cancers earlier and to develop effective new treatments.

You can read the full manifesto here.

If you’d like to support the campaign, click here to share the manifesto on Twitter using the hashtag #28by29.