Crawley MP Henry Smith spoke at an event in support of Bloodwise on Wednesday, 14th September, to launch a national blood cancer awareness initiative.
Henry, who chairs the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer, addressed the gathering which marked Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
“More than 38,000 people are diagnosed with blood cancer each year and there are over 230,000 people living with a blood cancer in the UK.
“The Bloodwise Ambassador Programme is a brilliant way to bring the voices of people affected by blood cancer together, all of whom are so passionate about raising awareness and improving patients’ lives.”
Despite being the fifth most common cancer and the third biggest cause of cancer deaths – claiming more lives each year than either breast or prostate cancer – public awareness of blood cancers is very low.
The event in Westminster, hosted by former 10 Downing Street Director of Communications Alastair Campbell, also marked the launch of the Bloodwise Patient Ambassador Programme. As well as working with hospitals and local healthcare settings to raise awareness, fellow ambassadors will give interviews to the media and provide insight into policy issues that impact blood cancer patients.
Diana Jupp, Director of Patient Experience at Bloodwise, commented;
“The launch of our ambassador programme is a fantastic step forward in our goal to raise awareness of blood cancers. It is not always easy to spot the signs of blood cancer, so it is wonderful that patients are coming together to help highlight the symptoms and issues surrounding the disease.
“Many of our ambassadors have been blood cancer patients themselves and know only too well how devastating a diagnosis it can be. It is paramount that we increase understanding and raise awareness so that we can support each and every person affected.”