Suffolk and North East Essex ICS - Thinking Differently Together - April 2021

Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) 1. Introduction Online event Wednesday 21 April 2021 ‘Thinking Differently Together’ about… How we talk about Cancer Richard Watson introduced the event by saying in their lifetime, 1 in 2 people will develop cancer at some point and because of this, cancer touches all of us in some way, either because we develop cancer ourselves or know someone that does. We need to broaden and change the nature of our cancer conversations from one predominantly about the diagnosis and treatment of cancers to also looking at this as a long-term condition that many people are living with for years. We need to better focus on the social, economic and health inequalities for those of us living with cancer so we can better support people’s needs. Thanks to the tremendous work that has gone into cancer care over the last decade or so, around 50% of people diagnosed with cancer will now survive for 10 years or more but this means that we need to start looking at cancer differently and how we support those living with cancer, the survivors of cancer and their families. These are a couple of personal reflections on how, going forward, we care best for people. I was diagnosed with my first cancer when I was 31. I had a 1 and 2-year-old and subsequently had twins after that, and I was really quite challenged by how medicalised one became through treatment. Then in my mid- forties I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through treatment. I had teenage girls at that time and the following year I had more tumours taken out of the other side. I believe my care was very good and I was very lucky to have triple assessments and so on. There is for me work to do, however, to try and explain that cancer journeys are different for everybody. People talk about it as generic but it is a very personal journey and it’s personal to you and your family and it is also linked to the type of cancer you have. My driving reason for coming to parliament was to try to ensure that metastatic cancer patients had a better journey and that they didn’t fall through the cracks, but as we know, everybody’s journey is less than sure. One thing that I have been overwhelmed Jo Churchill MP Richard Watson, Deputy Chief Executive for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG A Personal Perspective 1 | Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System