In the UK, 47% of all cancer diagnoses and 55% of all cancer deaths are from rare or less common cancers. That means around 180,000 people will be diagnosed with a cancer outside of the four most common (breast, lung, prostate and bowel). Those diagnosed with rare or less common cancers face challenges for a number of reasons. Cancer52 is calling on the next government to take action to reduce deaths and address the specific needs of people with rare cancers.

Cancer52, a coalition of over 110 voices within the cancer space including Trekstock, call this group The Other Half, acknowledging that the 47% diagnosed with rare and less common cancers face inequalities in accessing care and treatment, stacked on top of other inequalities linked with deprivation, ethnicity, gender, age and disability. These people experience shared challenges including poorer patient experiences, delays to diagnosis and under investment in research, as well as access to specialist care and effective treatments.

Unified in their vision for a better future for everyone affected by cancers that aren't The Big Four, Cancer52 have identified three main priorities.

  1. Reduce the number of deaths from rare and less common cancers by 15% by 2040, saving 80,000 lives and address health inequalities that contribute to poorer outcomes
  2. Increase early diagnosis which will improve patient experience, quality of life and help save more lives
  3. A new national mission with patient involvement at its core.

We're calling on newly elected MPs to help make this vision a reality by meeting with those affected by rarer cancers, visit specialist cancer services, engage with local Cancer Alliances on their plans, talk about the need to improve services for The Other Half with other ministers and speak up in debates on rare and less common cancers.

38 people in their 20s or 30s are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. It's much more rare to be diagnosed in this age bracket and this impacts everything from diagnosis to treatment and life beyond cancer. It's for this reason we're part of Cancer52 and echo their calls for improvements to the lives of people diagnosed with rare and less common cancers.

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