SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has welcomed the campaign by Cancer Research charities to maximise opportunities for early diagnosis .
Speaking after attending an event in the Long Gallery at Stormont today, Mr Ramsey said:
“At least one in three of us will develop some form of cancer in our lifetimes. That’s a scary thought. Scary, not only because the chances of developing the condition are so high, but because it means that each one of us will almost certainly know a friend or family member who will have to go through it. A mother, father, brother or sister, the impact of cancer ripples across family, friends and communities.
“Around 8700 people are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland every year. That’s 24 every day, 1 every hour. Close to 4100 people will die this year from cancer, 11 every day. We can, and must, do more to stop that.
“Early diagnosis and intervention is key. Pioneering research is being done at Queen’s University, putting us at the very cutting edge of innovation in the fight against cancer. But until the day that we find a cure, until we beat cancer, it’s vital that early diagnosis becomes the norm. I understand people don’t like visiting doctors or are scared but it’s important for them, and for their family, that they do visit a doctor or a nurse and discuss any worries or concerns that they have.
“Thanks to early intervention, eight out of ten people will survive skin cancer. 96% survive a diagnosis of testicular cancer. Those figures are encouraging but we can do better. I stand with cancer charities fighting against this condition.”