Working with Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group

Crawley MP Henry Smith's latest column
Crawley MP Henry Smith's latest column

I was pleased to officially host Cancer Research UK in Parliament last Wednesday, 4th February to mark World Cancer Day.

New research from Cancer Research UK has revealed that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some one point in their lives.

Action taken by the Government has been to focus on two things known to make the greatest difference; making sure patients get the latest drugs and treatments, and earlier diagnosis.

Now, one and five-year cancer survival rates are at record levels. This means that over 12,000 more patients a year will survive cancer for at least five years after diagnosis.

The proportion of cancer patients who rate their care as excellent or very good has increased to 88%. But just as care is improving, and more families are kept together longer, our NHS is treating cancer patients in record numbers. Hospitals across the country are seeing 51% more patients with suspected cancer than in 2010.

The percentage of patients referred with suspected cancer to see a specialist within two weeks in Crawley stands at 94.6%, which means there is scope for improvement. I will continue to work with organisations such as the Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure these standards are increased.

Raising awareness is essential, which is why I was eager to help by sponsoring Cancer Research UK’s event in Parliament. More than one in five people in the South East were not aware when prompted that a persistent cough or hoarseness is a symptom or sign of cancer.

Awareness-raising campaigns such as Be Clear on Cancer are key to ensuring cancer is diagnosed at a stage when treatment is more successful.

The Cancer Drugs Fund, now funded by the Government by over £1 billion received nearly 20,000 applications for all drugs between April 2013 and March 2014, which works out at almost 5,000 applications from the south of England.

Cancer has had an effect on most of our families, mine included. I lost my mother to a blood cancer a few years ago, this is an issue close to my heart so if there is ever anything I can do to assist Crawley constituents then please do not hesitate to let me know.