Cancer continues to hit the news headlines.
We were recently warned that hospitals in England have seen a rise in admissions for skin cancer of nearly a third in 5 years.
Dermatologist Dr Walayat Hussain said the UK was facing “a tsunami of skin cancer” being blamed on cheap foreign holidays and the fashion for having tanned skin.
Only today, a report from Macmillan states that the NHS will be “pushed to its limit” by the end of 2016 by rising numbers of cancer patients.
By 2016, it is expected that another 1,000 people will be diagnosed every day. An ageing population and NHS cutbacks would stretch cancer care to breaking point.
“Cracks in the NHS are already beginning to show” said Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas but survival rates for some forms of cancer have improved.
The latest government figures show that cancer caused the most deaths in England and Wales in 2013, followed by heart disease and strokes.
Cancer accounted for 29% of all deaths in the UK last year. According to Cancer Research UK, the most common forms of cancer are lung, bowel, breast and prostate.
But in amongst the doom and gloom has been some good news and truly inspiring stories.
Just a few months ago the results of two international trials against advanced skin cancer, from the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, were hailed as “exciting and striking“. These treatments were designed to enable the immune system to recognise and target tumours.
This morning I read about Sam Greatrex. In 1995 Sam was diagnosed with Cancer but on the 6th September 2014 he embarked on a journey starting from Birmingham to cycle and row around the world to break 11 world records and raise £240,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The aim of Lap the World is to raise £240,000 and 100% of every donation will go to Macmillan and not towards the costs to fund his expedition. That amount could fund the build of a new chemotherapy suite in a hospital.
Sam’s challenge is both crazy and inspirational in equal measure and it puts my fundraising efforts into context.
But every little bit helps to support these charities. £25 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for an hour, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.
There are many different charities and support groups that help in the fight against cancer but they rely heavily on the support of the public for funding. You’re the reason that they can keep providing vital services to those suffering from cancer and to help and support their families, so no one has to face cancer alone.