Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
Cross-Party Group publishes cancer inequalities report
The Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Cancer in the Senedd Cymru (Welsh Parliament) has published its landmark report, All Things Being Equal, following an inquiry into cancer inequalities in Wales.
The inquiry was launched in October 2022, with the purpose of understanding inequalities that exist throughout the cancer pathway. Brain Tumour Research was one of 15 organisations to provide written evidence in support of the inquiry.
At the report launch, the Chair of the Cross-Party Group David Rees MS stated that “the CPG wasn’t just a talking shop” adding that the group is determined to change things by looking at issues affecting constituents by “asking the right questions” in order “to change policy.”
Dr Chris Jones, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales, welcomed the report, adding the Welsh Government would look closely at the recommendations. He said that the Welsh Government remained concerned and committed to improving health outcomes in Wales.
The inquiry found people living in more deprived communities were more likely to die from cancer. For all cancers combined, five-year net survival is 17 percentage points lower in the most deprived group compared to the least deprived.
The All Things Being Equal inquiry welcomes the recent Cancer Improvement Plan, intended to promote improving cancer services and addressing the challenges left by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it urges the Welsh Government to address these through the lens of improving outcomes and services for those whose experiences are more difficult. Failing to do so may exacerbate cancer inequalities in Wales or allow them to continue.
The report also concludes that research into cancer “provides the best route to understand the disease, as well as identifying new ways to detect, diagnose and treat it”. Research can also “focus on population health, including how to address the preventable risk factors of cancer”.
Brain Tumour Research Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Thomas Brayford, said: “We welcome the report’s recommendations and believe they offer a pathway to reducing cancer inequalities across Wales. Brain tumour patients should not have to face battles to get the support to which they are entitled. Clinical trials need to be more accessible and there needs to be better specialist mental and emotional health services available.”
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