This article originally appeared in the Medway Messenger
A few weeks ago, Gillingham hosted Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at the Great Lines Heritage Park. I went along to support the around 1000 women that took part, helping to raise money for life saving research. Many of these brilliant runners had their own stories to tell about how they’d been affected by cancer.
Thanks to such money raising events, which help to fund research into pioneering new medical treatments, survival rates for cancer have doubled over the last 40 years, with two in four now surviving the disease.
And early diagnoses is key to increasing survival rates. Each year it is estimated that around 200 deaths from cancer in Medway could have been prevented. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and if you notice somethings changed and doesn’t go away on its own, you should consult your doctor.
With more than 4 in 10 cancers caused by lifestyle choices, such as smoking and obesity, we can also reduce our risk but making changes to how we live.
The Government has made improving outcomes for those with cancer a priority and, since 2010, more than £750 million of additional funds has been provided with up to £300m a year now being spent on new diagnostic equipment.
Many of you will know that one Medway councillor, and my dear friend, Cllr Mike O’Brien is battling cancer and undergoing treatment. We have all been touched by those affected by cancer and I want to do my bit to help fundraise for more research. This is why I will be running the London Marathon next year in aid of Cancer Research UK. With your help, I hope to raise thousands of pounds. So please, if you can, add your support on my JustGiving page.