To think I was worried about the lack of publicity for cancer, as the UK tears itself apart! Finally, it’s appearing again, but not in any positive way. How could it? Practically no attention paid to the disease for at least two years. How could everything suddenly be ok? Of course, we currently have record waiting times for scans and treatment. Even worse, we are now 33rd from 41 developed nations for cancer mortality in 2019. Let that sink in for a minute! 30 million of us will be directly affected, and our outcomes will be worse than all countries in the G7.
I have been talking consistently for the last 10+ years that our current ‘system’ is failing. Logic tells us that continuing on this path, is doomed to failure. What more proof do we need than this latest report? Cancer is one of the biggest self-serving industries that I have ever seen. Dominated by big pharma with everyone else dancing to their own tune. We sometimes forget that pharmaceutical is a business, there to make money, first and foremost. Not necessarily looking at issues we need solving, but where the rewards are highest. Therefore the #NHS and other healthcare organisations will get what they are given at the price they are told.
Of course, there are in fact many more treatments for cancer than you will see on the NHS menu. So many different ways of dealing with it now. But with closed minds and prohibitive pricing, the average person will never find out about them. Unless they become very proactive by questioning their limited choices. How about cancer research itself? No, not the charity, which I will come onto later. Can we consider what we are doing as successful if our morbidity rate is rising? Of course not! But who is questioning the way we are and have been working? Billions is/has been spent even in my time. Yet still the large organisations are holding their hands out for more. Of course, they all talk about finding a cure for cancer, and we have an internal wobble. What a great cause many think. Not for me, whilst things stay as they are.
In a world where cancer is one of the biggest threats to mankind, we rely on a charity, Cancer Research UK, to drive our research. An organisation with an annual income of £500million+. In many cases a mouthpiece for big pharma. A ruthless, and less than transparent organisation. Doesn’t enjoy questions about its work and where the money goes. There are plenty of other charities involved in research but relatively minor when compared to them. Everyone doing their own thing, mostly with publicly donated money and grants. All working in their own way on individual projects, with little data being shared. How can this be sustainable?
All the cancer leadership within the NHS remain silent, particularly during covid. With most people not even knowing who they are. Of course, Government have left the sector to get on with it. Hence, we now have this mish mash, producing these disgraceful and embarrassing statistics. Failure, indeed it is, but no change in sight of course. Why is that you might ask? Because everyone is earning very nicely from failing. After many years in the business world, I really have seen nothing like this sector. So little responsibility for the amount of money and human resource being put into it. Also, very little complaint from the ‘customers’ ie those of us affected by cancer. Excuse after excuse, but everyone continues on the same road telling us how difficult things are.
I’m such a lucky man having started my treatment in 2007. Having incredibly had an extra 15 years of life I’m now 66 and seen enough of this bullshit. I feel like I’m on a roundabout, seeing the same things every few years. It wasn’t good enough then and certainly isn’t now. We have become the sacrificial lambs of a corrupt system. Of course, things can improve. It would be hard not too really. But is it only us, the patients and families that want that? Will we be the ultimate sacrifice for greed. I’m feeling that way today!
As always these are my personal views based on my own experiences. I’m sure you will all have yours, and please feel free to share them below.