Outside Downing Street handing in the petition
Outside Downing Street handing in the petition

Tuesday 20th July marked one year of the Catch Up With Cancer Campaign.

The campaign was launched in conjunction with Craig and Mandy Russell, who lost their daughter Kelly at the age of just 31 to bowel cancer. Her life expectancy was drastically cut short after her cancer treatment was stopped as a direct result of the Covid-19 response.

Over the last year, the campaign has called for the Government and the NHS to boost cancer services to tackle the cancer diagnosis and treatment backlog caused by Covid-19.

A petition calling on the Government to stop unnecessary cancer deaths caused by the Covid disruptions and save thousands of lives has been signed by over 377,000 people.

Yesterday, Grahame Morris MP joined Craig Russell and leading oncologist and co-founder of the Catch Up With Cancer campaign Professor Pat Price to hand in the petition to 10 Downing Street.

It was covered by ITV and The Express.

Craig Russell outside Downing Street
Craig Russell outside Downing Street

The campaign has worked closely with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy.

Over the last year, supportive MPs have asked written and oral Parliamentary questions, submitted Early Day Motions, sent cross-party letters to the Prime Minister, Health Secretary and Chancellor, and held meetings with Ministers.

During Monday’s statement on Covid-19, Grahame Morris asked the Vaccines Minister about his Department’s plans to protect the immunocompromised and immunosuppressed such as those living with and beyond cancer:

Widespread disruption of the entire cancer pathway and recent figures show that the widespread disruption of the entire cancer pathway has resulted in 40,000 ‘missing’ and undiagnosed cancer patients.

Research suggests that for every four weeks delay in cancer treatment, survival drops on average by 10% and frontline clinicians are already reporting that more and more patients are now presenting with late-stage cancers which have passed the point of being cured.

Much more needs to be done to deliver the urgently needed ringfenced investment for cancer infrastructure and assist the workforce crisis.

The campaign produced a video this week to mark the anniversary. Affected families, campaigners and supportive MPs reflected on a year of the campaign, and what still urgently needs to be done:

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