Cross Cancer Out

Ahead of the General Election 2015, over 16,500 of you joined the fight to Cross Cancer Out. And it worked - a third of the MPs elected to Parliament have pledged their support to improve early diagnosis, increase access to the best treatments for cancer patients and get behind our life-saving research.


Why we campaigned

Every day we’re making real progress in the fight against cancer - survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. With political action we will accelerate this progress.

Nearly half of cancers in England are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully. There are a number of reasons why this might be, but there are many chances for cancer to be picked up earlier. Similarly, we know that one of the reasons UK cancer outcomes lag behind other comparable countries is variation in access to appropriate treatments. Diagnosing cancer at its earliest stages and ensuring all cancer patients can access the best evidence-based treatments available for their condition, is crucial to give patients the best chance of survival.

We asked all election candidates to pledge to Cross Cancer Out, through:

  • Continued support for campaigns to raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer
  • A commitment to increase participation in the national bowel cancer screening programme
  • Equal access to innovative radiotherapy, surgery and effective cancer drugs, including drugs targeted to patients’ tumours


How we made it happen

Over 16,500 supporters helped us secure support from a third of MPs elected to Parliament in May. This included our e-campaigners emailing their election candidates and our fantastic Campaigns Ambassadors writing to and meeting their candidates locally.

Some of our key highlights include:

  • Over 11,000 supporters up and down the country emailed their election candidates
  • We held 11 Cancer Research UK shop visits for candidates in tightly-contested seats
  • Our 3 big stunts in London, Manchester and Birmingham had  5,500 members of the public help us to literally ‘Cross Cancer Out’

In addition to the Pledge, we also gave candidates the opportunity to sign up to visit one of our research labs, if elected.

You can find out more about the actions we took in our blog about the campaign.


What we achieved

700 candidates including 144 MPs (22% of the House) signed up to join the fight to Cross Cancer Out, and 342 candidates (113 MPs) signed up to visit one of our research labs if elected. This means a third of all MPs elected have shown their support our campaign in total (as some did both).

Over the next five years we’re now in a great position to build on this political support to improve cancer survival in the UK.


More information

Become a Cancer Campaigns Ambassador

Cancer Campaigns Ambassadors

Join our Cancer Campaigns Ambassadors programme and use your passion for beating cancer to help us make a real difference.

Request an application form

Political action saves lives

Find out how we campaigned ahead of the General Election.