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Prevention over Cure: Are we changing our relationship with cancer?

Every week here in Wales 50 people are diagnosed with breast cancer alone, making it the most common type of cancer for women. The so-called celeb effect has made us more aware than ever before.

So, with a society calling for earlier diagnosis and PREVENTATIVE treatment - is our relationship with cancer in the midst of change?

Wales This Week follows 34 year-old Leanne Hugglestone as she undergoes a double mastectomy to prevent a recurrence of cancer.

Wales This Week: Mastectomy and Me - Tonight at 8pm ITV Cymru Wales


Three complete double marathon for cancer research

L-R Andrew Marzano, Matt Marzano and James Healey (pictured with Andrew's daughters) celebrate completing their 53-mile double marathon

Three rugby fans have run through the night to complete a double marathon in aid of cancer research.

Brothers Andrew and Matthew Marzano and their friend James Healey set off from the Parc y Scarlets stadium in Llanelli at midnight, arriving at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium before noon today - a distance of 53 miles.

However, they ended up running a total of 56 miles - after taking an accidental detour near Bridgend.

Andrew Marzano told ITV News: "We went three miles in the wrong direction. And three miles in the wrong direction when you're doing 53 miles is a long way!"

But he added: "Cancer research is a cause very close to our hearts. Cancer affects all families. Mine and Matthew's grandmother died of cancer and various friends and family have also suffered."

Funds from Movember help launch Wales' first 'ManVan'

Wales' first ever 'ManVan' has been launched, providing help and advice for men across Wales who are affected by prostate or testicular cancer.

The project is the result of a joint effort between cancer charity Tenovus and health organisations Prostate Cancer UK and The Movember Foundation.

The 'ManVan' has been payed for with funds raised during the annual moustache growing campaign.

Ambassador for Movember and Welsh rugby star George North says he's pleased to hear about the investment.

Whilst Movember is a bit of fun growing daft moustaches, it's great to also know that our efforts are making a real difference.

I encourage the men of Wales to make use of the 'ManVan' service and to continue supporting Movember's vision to change the face of men's health

– George North

Wales' first 'ManVan' hits the road

The 38 foot van is a converted American-style motorhome Credit: Tenovus

Wales' cancer charity Tenovus has joined forces with Prostate Cancer UK and The Movember Foundation to launch the country's first ever 'ManVan'.

Made possible with funds raised during the annual Movember moustache growing campaign, it's an American-style motorhome, which has been converted to bring dedicated mobile cancer support to communities throughout Wales.

The Van has been funded by money raised from the annual moustache growing campaign Movember Credit: Tenovus

The 38 foot van will bring one to one counselling, couples' counselling, group supports and benefits advice to men living in deprived or hard-to-reach areas.

The motorhome has been converted inside and out Credit: Tenovus

There will also be a range of educational talks available for men and local health care professionals, as well as a huge amount of information for men and their families to take away.

2,600 men are diagnosed with prostate or testicular cancer every year in Wales, with prostate cancer incidence rates 25% higher in Wales per head of population compared to the UK overall.

Claudia McVie, Chief Executive at Tenovus said,

"We want to improve the support available to men with prostate or testicular cancer in Wales by bringing vital services directly to them.

We know men aren't always comfortable talking about their worries, so we've designed the space specifically with them in mind.

We have years of experience delivering mobile cancer care into the heart of our communities, and now thanks to The Movember Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK, we can start to reach men who otherwise often go unsupported.


Welsh Govt: Tories trying to 'talk Welsh NHS down'

The Welsh Government has accused the Tories of trying "to talk the Welsh NHS down."

It comes after it emerged yesterday that figures obtained by English Conservative MP Simon Burns showed that the number of Welsh cancer patients travelling to England had nearly quadrupled in the last decade.

This is yet another attempt by the Tories to talk the Welsh NHS down.We know Welsh cancer patients receive faster access to treatment overall than patients in England; survival rates are increasing faster than in any part of the UK and Wales is at the forefront of the global race to find a cure for cancer.

– Spokesperson for Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

But Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, told ITV News the figures were a further sign of the "lamentable way" the Welsh NHS is run.

The number of Welsh cancer patients travelling to England for care has nearly quadrupled

The number of Welsh cancer patients travelling to England for treatment has nearly quadrupled in the last decade. Figures obtained by English Conservative MP Simon Burns shows that in 2003 - 2004 there were 4,298 admissions. By 2012 - 2013 that figure had reached 16,755.

The Welsh Government says these figures represent a small amount of the total cancer care for welsh patients, and that the vast majority receive treatment in Wales:

"There will be very strong clinical reasons why a patient will need to be treated in England. What remains most important, as set out in our Cancer Delivery Plan, is that Welsh patients receive treatment based on individual need.”

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Groundbreaking new cancer study takes place in Cardiff

The new study will look at the treatment of end-stage lung cancer. Credit: ITV Wales News

Velindre Hospital in Cardiff is one of eight hospitals in the UK to take part in a new study looking at how to treat end-stage lung cancer, focusing on cancer that has been caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.

The study will assess the targeting of cancer stem cells and a potential new treatment for pleural mesothelioma - an aggressive form of lung cancer strongly linked to asbestos exposure.

According to latest figures it is the most rapidly increasing cancer amongst women in the UK and the number of deaths caused by the disease each year has grown to more than 2,500.

Drakeford hails 'real improvements' in cancer care

The Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM has hailed the "real improvements" in cancer care in Wales, which have been published in a Welsh Government today.

The report shows that Wales has experienced the biggest increase in cancer survival rates in the UK.

This report demonstrates real improvements in cancer care in Wales over the past year. This is a tribute to all those involved in the planning and delivery of care.

The report tells us our cancer survival improvement has been proportionately larger than in other UK countries, and we have consistently achieved the 31 day target since July 2013.

We also know from the recent cancer patient experience survey that 89% of patients in Wales think their care is 'very good' or 'excellent', rising to 97% when describing their care as 'good'.

Another area of success highlighted by the report is in the increase in the uptake of the HPV vaccine, from 85.5% in 2011/12 to 86.6% in 2012/13.

This vaccine prevents cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35.

The report also highlights areas to focus efforts in the coming year, such as reversing the decline in the numbers of people taking up bowel cancer screening, and to build on recent improvements against the 62-day target for those newly diagnosed with cancer.

While our cancer survival improvement has been the best in the UK, we are still to reach the levels achieved in a number of other European countries so need to continue to make progress here.

Every patient deserves the best care. Whilst the results of this report indicate we are moving in the right direction, in Wales we will continue to work to make improvements in all aspects of cancer care and treatment.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister
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