On 20th April Nic Puntis (Chair GSUK) & Jayne Bressington (Vice Chair GSUK / Patient Director PAWS-GIST, pictured left) went to Westminster and attended a parliamentary reception organised by Cancer52, a coalition of more than 80 charities representing rare and less common cancers.
The reception was hosted and addressed by Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC), John Baron MP.
The purpose of the reception was to raise awareness of these cancers and highlight the need for earlier diagnosis. Rare and less common cancers together account for more than half of all UK cancer deaths – more than the ‘big four’ (breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancer together) – and on average have poorer earlier diagnosis rates.
Nic & Jayne were invited because GIST Support UK is one of the member charities of Cancer52 and they are very keen to raise awareness and highlight the needs of GIST patients, to improve treatments and knowledge of this rare cancer that affects c. 700 new patients each year in the UK.
Jane Lyons, CEO of Cancer52, said:
“It was fantastic to see so many people affected by rare and less common cancers at the reception raising awareness of these diseases with their MPs. For many the speed of diagnosis is critical as rare and less common cancers are more likely than the common cancers to be diagnosed late, often in A&E, and this has an impact on one year survival rates.”
Nic Puntis , Chair of GIST Support UK said:
“It was a pleasure to join Cancer52 at their reception and discuss such an important issue. We need to improve the early diagnosis and treatment of cancers, particularly rare and less common cancers such as GIST.”