Burnley's MP has backed an appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS staff to deliver the life-saving cancer tests and treatments people need.
Julie Cooper met with campaigners from the charity during the Labour Party Conference to hear about the “Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer” campaign.
It calls for everyone to stand with the NHS and urge the UK Government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.
Every year, 2,100 people are diagnosed with cancer in East Lancashire and as the population grows and ages, that number is only set to rise.
More staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled. .
Speaking after the meeting, Julie Cooper MP said: “After the past 70 years of fantastic work from the NHS, it is vital to ensure it is fit to face the challenges of the decades to come.
“Many of us have been affected by cancer in some way, and one in two of us will be diagnosed in our lifetimes.
“We all want a world-class service where people are given every opportunity to survive this devastating disease, for it to be diagnosed early and for patients to receive the best treatment possible.
“That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer.”
The UK Government is set to publish its long-term plan for the NHS later this year, which will also include a roadmap for the NHS workforce over the next decade.
To speed up and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment, investment is needed in key professions, including radiographers and radiologists who carry out and interpret scans such as MRIs, endoscopists who look inside the body by inserting a tiny camera and pathologists who look for abnormal cells, as well as oncologists (cancer specialists), nurses and surgeons.
Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said: “Over 170 UK parliamentarians from across the political spectrum are already backing the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, and we’re grateful to Julie Cooper MP for her support.
“By 2034, our ambition is for 3 in 4 people to survive their cancer, but advances in technology and treatment mean nothing if we don’t have the staff to deliver them.
“That’s why the support of MP’s like Julie Cooper MP is so vitally important to help make the UK’s cancer services the best in the world.”
For more information visit cruk.org/shouldertoshoulder or join the conversation on twitter #ShouldertoShoulder.