Nick Smith MP is backing Cancer Research UK’s ‘We will beat cancer sooner’ campaign to stub out cancer across the borough for generations to come.
The latest Cancer Research UK figures revealed the Aneurin Bevan Health Board area diagnoses 3,385 cases every year, with 1,611 people dying as a result of cancer.
In particular, Blaenau Gwent has a problem with high rates of smokers – 28% of people smoke in the authority compared to 22.6% across Wales.
With eight in ten smokers starting before the age of 19, the Blaenau Gwent MP has previously campaigned in parliament for plain cigarette packets to be introduced so they aren’t as appealing to children or teenagers.
He said: “Smoking causes nearly a fifth of all cancer cases in the UK. That’s why I joined colleagues in parliament to make sure youngsters, who are still growing and learning, weren’t swayed while they were still too young to understand the dangers.
“More cancer patients are surviving than ever before, but with more and more people being diagnosed there is an urgent need to accelerate research.
“I want to do everything I can to ensure cancer is detected earlier and that brilliant research can be translated into treatments for patients faster.
“That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s ‘We will beat cancer sooner’ campaign and I hope local people will show their support by helping to raise vital funds.”
Today, two in four people survive cancer and survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. Mr Smith is encouraging people in Blaenau Gwent to help make it three in four within the next twenty years by supporting Cancer Research UK in any way they can whether it’s making a regular donation, taking goods to their local shop, returning their Race for Life sponsorship money or signing up to March on Cancer this October.
As more people are diagnosed with cancer each year, the charity wants to accelerate progress to improve cancer outcomes. The earlier patients can be diagnosed and access the innovative treatments they need, the more lives will be saved.
To find out more visit cruk.org.