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Jon Snow hosts Macmillan Cancer Support Parliamentary Question Time

  • Comments 6

Back in November 2012, Macmillan gave Cancer Voices the opportunity to ask parliamentarians questions about cancer care and services at the House of Lords.

Channel 4’s Jon Snow chaired the panel, which featured Baroness Morgan, Verindra Sharma MP, Baroness Jolly and Macmillan’s very own Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jane Maher

>>>Watch Macmillan's Parliamentary question time here>>>

See the panel tackle questions about...

The future of cancer networks

24/7 community nursing

Carers & benefits

Improving cancer outcomes

Rarer cancers

The role of cancer voices

Take part in this year’s Parliamentary Question Time

The next Macmillan Parliamentary Question Time will take place on 11 September 2013.  And we’d really like Community members to get involved!

If you’re interested in taking part in this year’s Question Time, find out more about becoming a Cancer Voice. There are lots of different ways you can get involved, and use your experience to help people affected by cancer. 

You can also follow the Macmillan public affairs team on twitter, to keep up to date on how the team is working with parliament and decision makers to improve outcomes for people affected by cancer.

  • There has to be more research into treatments for lung cancer! It's the biggest killer of women especially and men in the UK, the strides have been taken successfully to improve the death rates of so many cancer killers in the past, but lung cancer has been left in this country, yet the death figures are by far the biggest. Is it because of the social stigma of smoking? I hope not when those that sunbathe and get cancer wouldn't have that same stigma, as with many other cancers caused by other stimulants. What's needed is the positive approaches already on the no smoking campaigns which have proved huge dropping off of smokers, unfortunately not in time for ex smokers like myself. I don't want to be written off if there is a way to help cure this devastating disease and even at 60 I'm far to young! Sadly on researching the subject the figures don't add up, many who have never smoked develop lung cancer, younger people too in larger numbers than I expected to find, I always thought of it as a late stage disease but no! In fact although smoking does cause most lung cancers, it's actually only a small percentage of smokers that go on to develop it! What gene do they have that I don't? In fact on my first treatment of combined chemotherapy I found out that it wasn't that long ago there was no chemo offered for lung cancer! I'm going to try and defy the stats which are now a little old, it can't be cured given its nature, but if possible it can be held at bay, and options are slowly rising, if something else is being developed then we can bring these percentage survival rates upto the rates that breast cancer and prostrate cancer now hold. But it needs regular and early screening, chest X-rays must become as common or more common than mammograms, early detection as in lobe removals or sections could save lives, mine may well be too late, but hopefully treatment will give me time. We need to improve these stats it's imperative! I'm 60 but it's the new forty I'm not ready yet....
  • Hi Milo Thanks very much for your post.  I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but I’m truly inspired by how defiant you are. Macmillan agrees with you that more needs to be done to save the lives of people living with lung cancer.  That is why we have campaigned for a number of years for the whole NHS to be measured against how well they do at improving cancer survival rates.  The good news is this is now happening.  We also feel passionately that the NHS must provide everyone diagnosed with cancer with the best quality treatment, care and support no matter who they are, where they are from or what cancer they have.  So in 2009 and 2010 we lobbied hard for the Government to create the Cancer Drugs Fund.  The Fund was set up in England over two years ago and is providing thousands more cancer patients with drug treatments that can help control their condition. You might want to talk to your oncologist about whether there could be any drugs available through the Fund that could help to treat your cancer.  For more information about the Cancer Drugs Fund, you can go here: Cancer Research UK has a lot of information about research into new treatments for lung cancer.  You can find out more by visiting this page on their website: If you would like to challenge politicians to do more in the fight against lung cancer please do think about whether you might like to come along to our Parliamentary Question Time in September. Take care Lucy
  • I am afraid I am a pragmatist when it comes to cancer. My lovely husband was fit, active, healthy eater and a non-smoker. It was he who ensured I got my fruit and veg every day. All veg were steamed and we used very little salt. When he was diagnosed with cancer he was determined to fight it and had such a positive attitude. He had chemo then radiotherapy then more chemo and took it all without complaint. Sadly he still died 18mths after diagnosis.One thing I would say is that GPs need to be more aware. He got quite angry with me when I kept telling him to go to the doctor and NOT to settle for antibiotics of a nice cough bottle. I was worried about his cough and thought either cancer or TB. The outcome may have been different had it been diagnosed in time for surgery to be done.
  • carolab has summed up my experience too. I kept telling Laing his chest pain wasn't down to the way he leant to one side in his office chair. Little did I know then what it was. Although the doctor sent him to the hospital I don't know if (s)he knew he might have had cancer of the lung. Our problem is that the word cancer still has the power to paralyse us into inaction, whereas it should be the spur to action. Things aren't helped when a certain tabloid newspaper prints stories one day that eating chocolate will give you cancer and then the next saying if you eat 50 g a day it is good for you. We need serious journalism to back up serious political decisions which don't look at the cost of treatment, but the off ledger costs, some of which are not easy to quantify in financial terms. When governments penny pinch (and I don't just mean this one, I've seen enough in my time) they go for the easy option, and those with terminal illnesses are the least likely to cause trouble, in the short and longer term. Cynical, I know, but I never trust the decisions made. Tim
  • Hmm. I listened to the discussion about Rarer Cancers.  The gateway for care is the GP. There are good GPs and there are not so good. GPs need to have better training, awareness and a willingness to keep up to date. You can commission all the research you like, but in an overstretched poorly performing NHS, I wonder what difference it will make. I happen to live in a supposedly well serviced area with hospitals with supposedly good reputations. The staff are still working at full stretch and thus unable to devote the time needed to terminal patients.  And remember, men and women treat disease differently. Women tend to look after themselves, undergo regular health checks, attend regular screening etc etc Men's cancers are not as 'sexy,' don't get as much money chucked at them. Ok - so finally something is being done about Prostate Cancer. But men don't generally talk about their pain, their worries about their health etc And I was married to a South Island Kiwi - they're the worst. When my husband said he was in pain, boy, his pain was off any normal scale of measurement. No wimpy Pom was he. So in that sense, men can be 'their own worst enemy' where cancer diagnosis is concerned. Yet.......  yet still, the GP has the duty to take seriously worrying symptoms, to question what is going on, should we maybe have a scan here?  I truly wonder what changes you expect in a Health System which is struggling to work on a day to day basis. There simply isn't the money, nor the staff to produce the kind of change we need. My late husband was fortunate in having good care in our local hospice for the last 3 weeks of his life. That hospice is funded by a lot of charitable donations. It couldn't keep going otherwise. So please tell me how you think all these well meaning bits of research will effect the very necessary changes needed to improve the lot of rarer cancer sufferers. And please tell me how the ordinary 'Man in the Street' and his family cope when faced with a diagnosis of rarer cancer. Forgive my cynicism. I am a realist. Jen  
  • I agree with Jen about GP's. but even the so called specialists can get it wrong. It took the urology dept of our hospital 2 years to diagnose my dads bladder cancer. In my view the best change shoudk be the way cancer is handled in the hospital. We have to see so many consultants, concer specialists, lung specialits, kidney specialists, etc., that we don't know who to ask when we have questions. If there were one person managing the whole process and making sure that everyone knows the whole picture, and keeping the patient and family informed, I believe the outcomes would be better. No more falling into the gaps. Instead the process is split between too many people and it becomes more difficult to make informed decisions if the patient only gets a bit of the picture at a time. I know that the MDT should really do this, but my experience is that no one person is responsible for the whole. Each member of the MDT only seems to take responsibility for their bit. Alison