01 May 2024

The next British government should invest in leukaemia research as a priority, campaigners have said.

Plans for research should be part of a Cancer Strategy that should be unveiled within a year of the forthcoming election, according to Leukaemia UK.

The charity says that half of patients are not offered opportunities to take part in research, while 40% do not hear about the benefits of patient participation.

The charity is also calling for extra effort to improve early diagnosis of leukaemia, specifically by ensuring rapid blood tests for people with symptoms. It says only a third of patients have received timely blood tests.

Leukaemia UK is also calling for “kinder, more effective” treatment with holistic needs assessments for all patients. It wants improved data and clinical audits, as limitations in current data obstruct understanding of patient outcomes, the charity says.

Leukaemia UK chief executive Fiona Hazell said: “Every day 27 people in the UK are diagnosed with leukaemia. Leukaemia is also the most common cancer among children, making up almost a third of childhood cancers. Yet despite this, leukaemia has been neglected by successive governments, and as a result survival rates remain low – acute myeloid leukaemia, for example, has a five-year survival rate of around 14%, compared to an average of 55% across all cancers in England.

“This year sees a once in a generation opportunity where we have the power to harness the life-changing potential of research, data and technology to change the future for leukaemia patients. We must demand better to stop the devastation it causes to tens of thousands of families across the UK every year.”

Source: Leukaemia UK


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