Cancer Research UK is uniquely placed to inform political debate. We’re the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. In 2014-15, we spent £434 million on research. Our pioneering work has been at the heart of progress that has seen survival rates double in the last 40 years. We receive no government funding for our research.
Our ambition is to accelerate progress so that three in four survive within the next 20 years. But with recent studies showing that an individual’s lifetime risk of cancer is increasing and now one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer, we need political action to beat cancer sooner.
Our policy priorities
We campaign on issues across the patient pathway, from prevention to early diagnosis to treatment. We welcome support from parliamentarians in Westminster on our key policy calls:
- Cancer Strategy for England: It’s vital that the Government supports the implementation of the cancer strategy - a five-year plan to achieve world-class cancer outcomes and save thousands of lives. The Government must outline more details on the investment committed into early diagnosis.
- Cancer Prevention: The Government must commit to reducing the incidence of cancer attributed to lifestyle factors such as tobacco and obesity.
- Tobacco Levy: We need to see support for NHS Stop Smoking Services and suggest a levy on the tobacco industry so that they pay for the damage they cause.
- Childhood Obesity: We would also like the Government to consider a range of measures to address rising childhood obesity. You can read our report ‘Tipping The Scales: why preventing obesity makes economic sense’ here.
- Screening: The Government must introduce FIT to the bowel screening programme and HPV as the primary test to the cervical screening programme, as recommended by the National Screening Committee, as soon as possible.
- Radiotherapy: We need to see a commitment from Government so that patients can benefit from the latest radiotherapy treatment with the most up to date equipment. We would like to see investment to replace old equipment.
How we work
The Public Affairs team takes every opportunity to meet ministers, parliamentarians and civil servants to speak to them about our views on important cancer and research issues.
Our policy experts, researchers and clinicians provide expert evidence to parliamentary committees, All Party Parliamentary Groups and public inquiries. They also help us frame responses to key government departments and other relevant public consultations.
Our Public Affairs team arranges a variety of events throughout the year including:
- events at Westminster – including expert briefings, drop-in sessions and receptions
- visits to our local cancer research centres and high street shops
- political party conference activities
- joint events with other cancer charities and the APPGs we support, the Association of Medical Research Charities(link is external), the Smokefree Action Coalition(link is external),the Cancer Campaigning Group(link is external) and the Obesity Health Alliance.
These events enable us to share with politicians their latest local cancer statistics, highlight our policy calls, demonstrate the local and national impact of our pioneering research, show how we work in partnership, and allows politicians to find out more about how we can help with their work at Westminster.
Are you an MP or a Peer? How we can help you:
We’re keen to work with parliamentarians and provide them with the tools needed to keep cancer on the agenda.
We can help with:
- Local cancer statistics by constituency. We provide tailored local profiles with recommended questions for clinical commissioning groups and local authorities
- Expert briefings, speaking notes and policy advice
- Suggesting parliamentary questions
- Meeting your constituency Cancer Campaigns Ambassador
- Constituency visits to our shops, research centres, Cancer Awareness roadshows & local Race for Life events
How you can help us keep cancer on the parliamentary agenda
There are a number of ways Parliamentarians can support us in Westminster and the constituency. For example:
- Using local cancer statistics when speaking to CCGs and local authorities
- Displaying our health information leaflets in constituency surgeries or constituency offices
- Meeting with the team to discuss our policy priorities
- Attending our events in Westminster to show your support
- Speaking out at debates on important cancer and research issues in Parliament
- Reading our blog for information on our work and cancer stories in the news
- Following us on twitter
To request a meeting or further information about our work please contact the Public Affairs team.
Last year, after three years of campaigning, MPs voted in favour of plain, standardised cigarette packaging. This is a huge landmark in our journey towards a tobacco-free future.
Thank your MP for their support.
For your local stats, tailored for your constituency, visit the Local Cancer Statistics website.