What do cancer charities think about prevention?

Published: 2 June, 2023 | Category: Policy

CancerWatch exists to campaign for improved cancer prevention, and we will take a major step forward when we achieve registration as a charity this year. From there, we will aim to build up our campaigning activity.

But what should that new activity look like? What work can we do that will not replicate what other charities are doing? What should be the top priorities that we campaign for? We have initial ideas about what the answers to those questions might be, but we don’t presume that we automatically know best. We want to have the best understanding we can of the policy challenges ahead, and the work of the wider sector, as we develop our work.

We are therefore reaching out to established cancer charities, public health campaigners and others, to ask for their input. How do they feel the UK is currently doing on cancer prevention? What’s the outlook for the future, and what are the priorities for improving it? We are approaching over 100 organisations and individuals, and asking them to complete our call for evidence.

To provide some context on the questions we’re asking, and why we have formed the views we have (so far), we have published this discussion paper. It expands on the themes we explored on our blog during Cancer Prevention Action Week, and outlines the need for improved cancer prevention. It suggests that a major policy shift is needed to create structural change, rather than encouraging healthier individual choices that not everyone can easily make. It also explores the role of the voluntary sector in securing previous changes such as the smoking ban, and asks what more it might be able to achieve in the future.

We will compile a full report of our findings, and publish it this autumn. Sign up to receive updates if you would like to be notified when it comes out.