Norfolk MP to champion better survival rates for one of UK's deadliest cancers
PUBLISHED: 15:38 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:38 07 May 2019
A Norfolk MP has pledged to campaign for better outcomes for those suffering from one of the UK's deadliest forms of cancer.
Norman Lamb, MP for north Norfolk, has pledged to lead the charge in Parliament to call for better diagnostic and treatment options for bowel cancer patients.
The disease, which is currently the UK's second deadliest cancer, with more than 16,000 people dying from it every year, is also the fourth most common cancer in the country, with 42,000 people diagnosed a year - someone every 15 minutes.
And the Liberal Democrat MP has pledged to work with the charity Bowel Cancer UK as a bowel cancer champion, to improve sufferers' prognoses and up the disease's survival rates.
Mr Lamb said: “It simply isn't acceptable that so many people die from bowel cancer each year.
“I am proud to be working with Bowel Cancer UK and helping them make real change happen through my role as a bowel cancer champion.
“My wider family has suffered loss through bowel cancer.
“I look forward to using my position in Parliament to call for changes which can improve outcomes for patients with the disease in north Norfolk and across the country.
“Together we can stop people dying of bowel cancer.”
Lisa Wilde, director of external affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “I'm delighted that Norman Lamb has pledged to become a bowel cancer champion.
“He will serve as a valuable ally in helping us to put bowel cancer firmly on the political agenda and campaigning for crucial improvements to services for bowel cancer patients both nationally and in north Norfolk.”
Former health spokesman Mr Lamb will work with Bowel Cancer UK, the UK's leading bowel cancer charity, to improve early diagnosis and access to treatment and care in north Norfolk and across the country.
Bowel cancer screening can detect the disease at an early stage in people with no symptoms, when it is easier to treat and has a greater chance of survival.
Most patients survive bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage, but this drops significantly as the disease develops.
In 2017, governments in England and Wales announced they will lower the screening age from 60 to 50 using a potentially more accurate faecal immunochemical test (FIT).