We aim to double the survivability of these six cancers by 2029.


Join us in petitioning the NHS to set a target to increase the survivavbility of the less survivable cancers by 2029!

In September 2018, the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce set itself a target of doubling survival over the next ten years for the less survivable cancers, but we can’t achieve it on our own.

The current five-year survival of the less survivable cancers grouped together stands at just 14% in England. We want to see that doubled to 28% by 2029 and are calling on the government and NHS England to accept this target and to join us in working to achieve it.

Currently, in the UK around 70,000 people are diagnosed with one of the less survivable cancers every year. By setting a target alone, we are letting them, and their loved ones, know that that they matter, that we want to give that person the best chance possible. That they have not been written off. By achieving the doubling of the survival rate to 28%, a total of 20,000 people would live for more than five years after the diagnosis.

That’s an additional 10,000 lives that could be saved every year in the UK.

That’s why it’s so important that the five-year survival is doubled for each of the six less survivable cancers.

Why now?

There is no time like the present. A new NHS Plan with updated objectives for cancer is being prepared now. The plan will update the existing Cancer Strategy in England that runs until 2020. We are asking for the target of doubling the survival rate for the less survivable cancers to be included in the cancer plan for England. Whilst our call is currently focused on England at present, we would like similar targets to be adopted across the UK.

Less survivable cancers represent just over one in four of common cancer diagnoses in the UK annually, yet claim half of all common cancer deaths each year. We must take urgent action to change this situation.

We believe that the target is achievable but that it will need both political will and a huge concerted effort with funders, governments, clinicians and charities all working together.

For further detail on each component, please see the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce’s formal submission to NHS England:

Support our campaign

Your support matters. We need everyone working towards the same goal to set a new target and then work to deliver it.

You can support this campaign by:

  • Signing our petition for NHS England to accept our survival target
  • Sharing your support via social media, using the hashtag #28by29
  • Writing to your MP to ask them to back the new survival target: Please personalise this template and forward it on to your MP. (In order to find out who your MP is and what email address to use, please input your postcode into the webpage here).
  • Contacting us to see how else you can help

For more information, read our cancer plan submission here

To download the advocate support MP letter template, please click here

To download the letter to the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, and to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, please click here

The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce team can provide you with draft tweets, letters and other content.

To contact us, please email lesssurvivablecancers@principleconsulting.org.uk


We need to take action on less survivable cancers now



If you are a third sector or other expert organisation interested in being involved, please contact us. Membership of the Taskforce currently consists of founding partners, but there will be opportunities for new members to join at a future point in time.

The Taskforce is funded primarily by its founding partners, with administration shared amongst each. Please consider funding the Taskforce’s work by donating to one or more of the partners. Note that, whilst the Taskforce may receive contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, a strict ethical code is applied in order to maintain independence. If you would like to know more about his policy, please contact us.