Thursday 14th July 2016

Together, Roger Daltrey CBE and Jane Sutton urged NHS England and Public Health England to roll out a programme of cancer education in secondary schools.

The event saw the launch of Transforming Cancer Knowledge, our report on the vital role education plays in diagnosing cancer in young people sooner. The report presents research by Stirling University which shows that our Education & Awareness programme significantly increases students' knowledge of cancer signs, whilst also empowering them talk to their parents and their doctor if their health changes and to be persistent if they're not getting better.

Our recent research showed that a third (33%) of young people were diagnosed with cancer after their health deteriorated to the point of needing to go to Accident and Emergency.

One young person who experienced a delayed diagnosis was Stephen Sutton, MBE, who died from bowel cancer in 2014, aged 19. His incredible positivity throughout his illness inspired thousands of people and raised more than £5.6million for young people with cancer. Of the money inspired by Stephen's Story, £500,000 is going towards our Education & Awareness programme.    

Stephen’s mother, Jane, said:

Despite showing serious symptoms, Stephen's illness was misdiagnosed as something much less serious. If his cancer had been discovered sooner, things could have worked out very differently for him. That's why I'm supporting Teenage Cancer Trust's call for more education so that other young people don't have to go through a similar experience to Stephen.

Roger Daltrey CBE has worked tirelessly since 1990 to persuade some of the biggest artists in the world to play at our largest fundraiser of the year, Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall. The shows have raised over £22million for young people with cancer since they began in 2000.

Roger said: "Through years of working with Teenage Cancer Trust, I've met hundreds of young people with cancer and we need to do everything we can to get them diagnosed earlier. It seems obvious to me that we need to give lessons about cancer in schools so they know to go to the doctors as soon as they don't feel right. We need to get Teenage Cancer Trust's Education & Awareness team into every school."

Siobhan Dunn, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "We know that young people with cancer have a poorer diagnosis experience than any other age group and we know that our cancer awareness sessions in schools play a vital role in educating and empowering young people to know the signs of cancer and to have the confidence to seek help and be persistent at the doctors.

"We're committed to working in partnership with NHS England and Public Health England to help us expand our Education & Awareness programme to reach all secondary schools, which will impact prevention and encourage early diagnosis of cancer."

We deliver cancer education in schools and colleges across the UK. The Independent Cancer Taskforce Strategy references Teenage Cancer Trust in calling for NHS England and Public Health England to consider the evidence for rolling out a similar cancer education programme to all secondary schools.