Over 70 campaigners came together outside Westminster yesterday (Wednesday 22 March) to deliver a petition to Downing Street demanding that ministers address the ­cancer crisis. Representatives from 62 charities (including Action Kidney Cancer) handed over the document signed by nearly 80,000 supporters, calling on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer to be made a top priority.

The petition was backed by scores of patient support groups and charities, who have united as One Cancer Voice. It comes as experts forecast 445,000 people in Britain will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and in each of the next five years.

Cancer charities are concerned about how the cancer crisis exacerbated by COVID19 will be tackled. These concerns have intensified after ministers decided to axe plans for a 10-year Cancer Plan in favour of a five-year Major Conditions Strategy, which put cancer in with a host of other complex conditions, such as dementia and cardiovascular disease.

It has left patients and oncologists fearing cancer will not get the focus it deserves.

The campaign and petition was arranged and led by Cancer Research UK, and has been signed by almost 80,000 people, many of whom are experiencing long waiting times for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Cancer Research UK chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: “With cancer, time is critical. A matter of weeks can be enough to impact someone’s chances of survival. More people are being treated than ever before, yet waiting times are among the worst on record.”