Ahmad AS, Ormiston-Smith N, Sasieni PD Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: comparison of risk for those born from 1930 to 1960. Br J Cancer. 2015; 112:(5)943-947

Rashid T, Bennett JE, Muller DC Mortality from leading cancers in districts of England from 2002 to 2019: a population-based, spatiotemporal study. Lancet Oncol. 2024; 25:(1)86-98

Nurses are key to ensuring equitable access to cancer care

07 March 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 5

Cancer has again made national headlines in recent weeks with the news that King Charles III is receiving treatment for cancer, although the exact diagnosis has not been disclosed. Another royal by marriage, his former sister-in-law Sarah Ferguson, was reported in January to have been treated for malignant melanoma. The sharing of their diagnoses and experiences of cancer by high-profile individuals helps normalise cancer and challenges taboos. Dame Deborah James did not start out as a celebrity, but she gained fame through her efforts to raise awareness of bowel cancer and telling everyone to ‘check their poo’.

Cancer will affect 1 in 2 people in the UK during their lifetime (Ahmad et al, 2015) – and any disease that affects half the population should rightly be given high priority. The majority of people are treated within the NHS, but budgetary restrictions mean that it can only provide access to limited resources.

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