Summary of cancer pledges from three main parties

A summary of the three main parties’ pledges on cancer

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Professor Pat Price, chair of Radiotherapy UK, responds to manifesto pledges


Labour Manifesto

Cancer is mentioned four times.

  1. “Double the number of cancer scanners” was put on the cover page of the health section of the manifesto.
  2. In the intro to the health section, they said “We will deliver a renewed drive to tackle the biggest killers; cutting the lives lost to cancer, cardiovascular disease and suicide, while ensuring people live well for longer.”

Further on, in a section about Modernising the NHS, Labour put these two lines in within the same paragraph:

  1. “Too many cancer deaths could have been prevented with earlier diagnosis.”
  2. “Therefore, Labour will introduce a new ‘Fit For the Future’ fund to double the number of CT and MRI scanners, allowing the NHS to catch cancer and other conditions earlier, saving lives.”

Conservative Manifesto

In the conservative manifesto, Cancer was mentioned twice. In the intro they said:

  • “We are committed to accelerating the NHS’s recovery from the pandemic, delivering safe and effective services and ongoing improvements in waiting times for primary, elective, cancer and emergency care.”

When discussing the publication of the Major Conditions Strategy they said:

  • “We know that, for most people, poor health comes from living with one or more of six major health conditions: cancer, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, mental ill-health, dementia and respiratory disease.”

Lib Dems Manifesto

  • The Lib Dems made a commitment to “Boost cancer survival rates and introduce a guarantee for 100% of patients to start treatment for cancer within 62 days from urgent referral.”

In their “more detail” section, they have an entire subsection dedicated to cancer detailing how they’ll boost cancer survival.

Boost cancer survival rates by:

  • Introducing a guarantee that 100% of patients will be able to start treatment within 62 days from urgent referral
  • Replacing ageing radiotherapy machines and increasing their number, so no one has to travel too far for treatment
  • Recruiting more cancer nurses so that every patient has a dedicated specialist supporting them throughout their treatment
  • Passing a Cancer Survival Research Act requiring the Government to coordinate and ensure funding for research into the cancers with the lowest survival rates
  • Halving the time for new treatments to reach patients by expanding the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s capacity
  • Launching a new prostate cancer screening programme for those at higher risk

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