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We must continue our fight against cancer

Prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and support are the best ways to continue our fight against cancer.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013

That was the message from Health Minister, Edwin Poots, as delivered the keynote address at the Cancer Collaboration in Action conference, today in Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey.

Addressing clinicians, researchers and others working in the field, the Minister said: “Cancer is a complex disease and is a matter of concern to everyone in Northern Ireland - everyone is touched by it, either as a patient or through friends or relatives. Cancer services here have undergone substantial changes in the last 20 years, but we must strive to continually do more if we are to win this fight."

A conference of cancer experts met to reflect on key developments within the field and to examine the kind of collaboration required to effectively address the needs of cancer patients in Northern Ireland.

The Minister went on to say that early diagnosis is key to combating cancer and that the recent reports that the public are reluctant to go to their GPs is worrying.

The Minister said: “I would always encourage everyone to look out for the signs and symptoms of cancer and to visit their GP as soon as possible if they need advice. GPs are happy to address patients’ concerns and reassure them that they are not wasting their GP’s time.

“Through speaking to individual cancer patients and survivors, I know how concerned patients are to begin their treatment as quickly as possible. This can only be achieved if patients and the health service work together to try to defeat this disease.”

The objective of the conference was to bring together all those who work in the field –whether involved in prevention and early detection, the provision of clinical services and follow up support, and those working on cancer survivorship issues , to reflect on key developments within the field and to examine what kind of collaboration is required to effectively address the needs of those affected by cancer in Northern Ireland. The conference heard from clinicians, researchers and others working in the field, but also the voices of individuals who have experienced a cancer diagnosis.

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Notes to editors:

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