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Brown unveils new cancer strategy

The Prime Minister has unveiled a five-year cancer strategy that he said will serve as a "road map to a higher standard of care available to all".

Gordon Brown said the initiative demonstrates the "very highest priority" attached to fighting the disease.

Under the plans, a scheme will be developed which provides more support for patients as they manage the long-term effects of the disease.

The Survivorship Initiative will focus on patients' needs both during and after treatment to allow them to live as normal an everyday life as possible.

It will include better psychological support, assistance getting back to work, financial advice and practical and medical assistance.

The five-year plan, which is backed by £370m investment by 2010, is designed to improve NHS cancer services and make people more aware of lifestyle factors.

The public will be reminded they are at risk if they smoke, overeat or do too much sunbathing.

Among preventative measures are plans to consult on banning the sale of tobacco in vending machines, reducing cigarette displays in shops and a fresh look at cigarette packaging.

The plan also includes the consideration of stronger regulation of sunbed use, especially by the under -18s, and moves to cut waiting times for radiotherapy.

Mr Brown said: "The number of people contracting cancer continues to increase as our population ages and the consequence of successful treatment is that more people are living after cancer than ever before.

"Our next steps must reflect the very highest priority that we as a country attach to combating this disease."


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