1. ITV Report

PM pledge on cancer as Tessa Jowell opens up about treatment

Theresa May pledged to keep NHS cancer treatments under review after a former Labour Minister spoke for the first time about her diagnosis.

Former cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell Credit: BBC

Dame Tessa Jowell, who has brain cancer, said patients should be allowed to take the risk of having different innovative treatments on the NHS.

At Prime Minister's Questions Theresa May said cancer treatment remained a priority.

We do want to make sure that the best treatments are being provided. We will consider investing in anything that improves that.

We accepted 96 recommendations in the NHS cancer strategy. Of course we do need constantly to look at this.

– Theresa May, Prime Minister

Dame Tessa has been treated in London on the NHS but had advice from the US and consulted a doctor in Germany.

Brain cancers happen very quickly, you have to show that there's been change quickly and if you don't do that then basically nothing changes.

That (adaptive trials) is exactly the kind of risk that patients should be free to take, it should be a risk that they have the chance to take, and it's certainly what somebody like me wants.

I actually see that the opportunity to take this risk is longer than the likelihood of my life surviving for a very long time.

I am not afraid, I feel very clear about my sense of purpose and what I want to do and how do I know how long it's going to last? I'm certainly going to do everything I can to make it a very long time.

– Dame Tessa Jowell, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme

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