AMMF backs C52 Manifesto

Autumn is coming, the party political conference season is underway, and thoughts are turning to the election on the horizon …

With more than 150,000 people diagnosed with a rare and less common cancer across the UK in 2011i, and with these cancers accounting for 75,000 cancer deaths in 2012, Cancer52* the alliance of 80 rarer cancer charities, of which AMMF is one, says that rare and less common cancers must be a priority, regardless of who is in power from May 2015.


So, with this in mind and with the backing of all its members, Cancer52 has now launched a Manifesto for the 2015 General Election – in summary asking for:

1.  A refreshed cancer strategy in all four countries in the UK – and for these to clearly include rare and less common cancers

2.  More research into rare and less common cancers – including rare and less common cancers as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project

3.  Early access to modern treatments and services – with decisions on access involving patients and not a tick box exercise.

The Cancer52 Manifesto has been welcomed Professor Karol Sikora**, Chief Medical Officer for Cancer Partners UK.  Says Professor Sikora, “No two people with cancer are identical. The molecular basis through which their cancer arose, the way in which the natural history of the disease evolves and their reaction to it in body, mind and spirit are all enormously variable. The future of cancer care must reflect a highly personalised approach which needs embedding within our NHS.”

Cancer52’s campaign reflects this individualisation which needs political action to ensure future patients receive optimal, tailored and effective care. We’ve come a long way in cancer since the birth of the NHS but there’s much more to be done. This manifesto provides an excellent strategic direction to plan for our future.”

Clara Mackay, Chair of Cancer52 commented, “Regardless of what party is successful in the May 2015 General Election, they must tackle the rising proportion of cancer deaths occurring in those diagnosed with rare and less common cancers.”

In 2006, when we were founded, 52% of all cancer deaths in England were from rare and less common cancers. That level was up to 54% in 2011ii. So we’re asking that all MPs take up our three asks to refresh cancer strategies, support more research and ensure access to modern treatments and services. This will offer hope to the hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with a rare and less common cancer every year across the UK.”

To read Cancer52’s Manifesto in full, click here

* Cancer52 is an alliance of 80 organisations representing the rare and less common cancers and works to address the inequalities in representation and funding across all areas, including policy, services and research, and to improve outcomes for patients with these highly challenging diseases.  AMMF is a member of Cancer52.

** Professor Karol Sikora is a world respected oncologist and campaigner for better universal cancer treatment. He studied medical science and biochemistry at Cambridge, where he obtained a double first.   After clinical training he became a house physician at The Middlesex Hospital and registrar in oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He then became a research student at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge working with Dr. Sydney Brenner, the Nobel Prize winner.

i Cancer Research UK, UK Cancer Incidence 2011 and mortality 2012 summary – Counts, September 2014

ii 70,647 people died of a rare or less common cancer in 2011 and 132,770 people were diagnosed in 2011 – Source Cascade, National Cancer Registration Service, Public Health England, accessed 21st May 2014

September 2014