Former Health Minister Philip Dunne MP is backing a campaign to raise awareness of blood cancer and put it at the forefront of the Government’s cancer plans.
Mr Dunne attended an event in Parliament organised by the blood cancer research charity Bloodwise to hear about the issues that face people with blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and spoke to patients about their experiences.
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Blood cancers are the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK and the third biggest cause of cancer death in the UK. Over 40,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer or related blood disorder each year in the UK.
NHS patients will benefit from Europe’s first full access deal on breakthrough CAR-T therapy. The landmark deal means young people with a form of leukaemia are set to receive CAR-T (a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy within weeks, after NICE also green-lighted the treatment for entry into the reformed NHS Cancer Drugs Fund.
Philip Dunne MP said: “Despite being a common cancer killer, awareness of blood cancers among the general public is low. I am happy to support Blood Cancer Awareness Month to help raise awareness and ensure the Government recognises the scale of the challenge. It was really insightful to hear from people directly affected by blood cancers and to understand more about how care can be improved.
I am delighted NHS patients will benefit from the first in a wave of treatments in a new era of personalised medicine through CAR-T therapy. The commercial agreement with the manufacturer for the form of CAR-T therapy is one of the fastest funding approvals in the 70 year history of the NHS, less than 10 days after the treatment was granted its European authorisation.”
Gemma Peters, CEO of Bloodwise said: ‘We are delighted that Philip Dunne is supporting our campaign to raise awareness of blood cancer. As 1 in 19 are affected by blood cancer it is vital that blood cancer is central to the Government’s cancer plans going forward.’
For more information on blood cancers visit www.bloodwise.org.uk