Column: We can all do our bit to keep cancer at bay

Gloria De Piero MP
Gloria De Piero MP

Everybody knows somebody who has had cancer or may have even been diagnosed with the disease themselves.

Cancer Research UK has released some new statistics on cancer in this area and they make startling reading.

Around 1,200 cases of cancer are diagnosed per year in the Ashfield and Mansfield area, and there are about 580 deaths from cancer every year.

Smoking and obesity are the two biggest causes of preventable cancer in the UK, and are areas where people can literally take their health into their own hands by giving up the cigs and getting in shape.

Taking up bowel cancer screening is another key area of improving cancer survival rates.

Cancer Research is aiming for 75 per cent of 60-to-74-year-olds to be taking part in bowel cancer screening by 2020.

Currently in this area, just 56 per cent of people are taking part, so that is a lot of people who could develop bowel cancer and find out later than they could.

We all know that our hospitals are stretched because of under-funding and the management of the NHS.

Nationally and locally, targets for patients receiving their first cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral are being missed.

But we can still do our bit to keep ourselves healthy and Cancer Research is right to bring this to our attention.

Problems with benefit claims and payments being stopped suddenly and incorrectly still make up a huge proportion of the casework constituents bring to my office.

A Sutton woman came to me recently because of problems with payments that went back to last October.

She has mental health issues and had provided all the information requested but was still not receiving money she was entitled to.

I wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on her behalf and it carried out an investigation.

It found that it did have all the required information relating to the benefit claim so it should have been reassessed.

The DWP has now reassessed her claim and made back payments of more than £2,300 and issued an apology.