Health experts urge Therese to make cancer a priority

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But the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) said she should add an E for elective recovery and F for funding. And cancer campaigners said they were shocked the disease was not mentioned under C.

Surgeons said Ms Coffey’s promise to deliver for patients would depend on continued funding of efforts to clear the waiting list backlog of more than 6.8 million, the highest since records began.

RCS vice-president,Tim Mitchell, said: “Surgeons have made significant progress reducing very long waits for hospital treatment.

“We cannot afford to let this progress slip, or the elective recovery could be derailed at a vital juncture.”

Oncologist Professor Pat Price, of the Catch UpWith Cancer campaign, called the absence of the disease from Ms Coffey’s list “shocking”.

She said: “I urge the Health Secretary to recognise the monumental crisis we are facing in cancer care and meet with me and other experts to discuss the immediate solutions.”

Macmillan Cancer Support analysis shows the number starting treatment in England since Covid is still at least 30,000 fewer than expected.At the end of July, there was a record high of more than 4,100 diagnosed and still waiting to start treatment.

Meanwhile,Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said Ms Coffey should add the nation’s weight to her priority list.

He said: “ABCD [is used] by obesity specialists in the US.

“It stands for Adiposity- Based Chronic Disease and hammers home the true nature of the condition.”

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