BLOG: Support World Cancer Day | Breast Cancer UK

BLOG: Support World Cancer Day

Published 4 Feb 2016

World Cancer Day has seen many of us come together with a united voice saying we must do more to ‘fight’ cancer.  However, for us the message is very much about prevention. 

Today we called on the Government, to make cancer prevention a priority and to invest in in research that helps us to better understand and tackle the environmental causes of the disease.    

Half of us are predicted to get cancer at some point in our lives and by 2030 it is expected that 4 million of us will be living with cancer.  The UK age-standardised incidence rate for breast cancer alone has increased by 5.5%, between 2004 and 2013[1] - a rise that cannot be explained away by any significant change in women’s lifestyle, genetics or in an increase in screening, which has stayed roughly the same over the last decade. 

Cancer strategies and research into cancer currently focus on treating the disease but Breast Cancer UK believes that they fail to tackle the disease at its source.   Annual research funding into breast cancer prevention has diminished significantly[2] over the past decade and the amount of expenditure on research to identify and better understand the environmental causes of the disease is quite simply derisory (currently just 1% of total  breast cancer research funding[3]).  

It is vital that work to identify all of the causes of breast cancer is encouraged and not just the intrinsic or lifestyle risk factors.  Only by better understanding the causes of the disease can we ever hope to prevent it.  Cutting health prevention research and reducing investment into identifying causes of cancers is a false economy and action is needed to reverse this trend.   

Our campaign, You Do The Maths, asks whether we could invest more to help prevent breast cancer and highlights the comparatively tiny amounts currently spent on preventing and understanding the causes of cancers.

Read our letters to the Department of Health here and to the Treasury here.

Read our You do the Maths postcards here.



[1]Office of National Statistics (2015) Cancer Registration Statistics, England, 2013, 10 July 2015 [Accessed: 25 January, 2016] 

[2] Source: NCRI Breast Cancer Spend 2002-2014

[3] Source: NCRI Breast Cancer Spend 2002-2014

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