Calls for new cancer strategy

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA supporting a new vision for fighting Cancer in Northern Ireland with leading Cancer Specialist from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queens University Belfast, Professor Mark Lawler.

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA supporting a new vision for fighting Cancer in Northern Ireland with leading Cancer Specialist from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queens University Belfast, Professor Mark Lawler.

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Supporting the call for a new long-term strategy to ensure cancer patients are diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible, MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has teamed up with Professor Mark Lawler from Queens University.

Mrs Dobson endorsed the Cancer Research UK campaign calling for a comprehensive cancer strategy, in her new role as Chairperson of the Stormont All Party Group on Cancer.

“We must never underestimate the devastating impact that cancer has on families across the District,” said Mrs Dobson.

“Cutting-edge research which is being carried out by charities like Cancer Research UK is turning the tables on the disease.

“Locally we have conducted fantastic world-leading research into fighting Cancer, however it always concerns me when these new breakthroughs are made available to patients in other countries and regions, and not in our own.

“A new strategy would address this issue while identifying priorities, setting out clear goals and allocating resources to ensure that cancer services in NI can cope with the rising demand.

“We know that because of research into cancer that survival rates have doubled in the UK in the last 40 years. But it is increasingly clear with more and more people being diagnosed that we cannot allow the momentum to slow, and that’s why I support this new campaign.”

Margaret Carr of Cancer Research UK, added: “Increasing numbers of people are receiving a cancer diagnosis, yet NI Health Service funds are tighter than ever.

That’s why a cancer strategy which sets out a long term vision of where to target our resources is desperately needed so we can make sure patients are not left anxiously waiting for diagnostic tests or treatment to start.”

“We are grateful for the support of the MLAs who joined us at Stormont to back our campaign.”