Tessa Jowell to lead high-profile cancer debate

Monday 22 January 2018

Former cabinet Minister Tessa Jowell will speak out for the first time later this week about her brain tumour diagnosis as she spearheads a public debate about cancer treatments and life expectancy

Baroness Jowell revealed four months ago that she was undergoing treatment for a high-grade (cancerous) brain tumour. Sharing the news via social media on her 70th birthday last September (pictured), she thanked and pledged to help more people live “longer better lives with cancer".

She will put that pledge into action this week as she fulfils high-profile commitments in Parliament and elsewhere.

This Thursday, the Labour peer will introduce a debate in the House of Lords on evaluating cancer treatments and raising life expectancy for cancer patients.

She is expected to talk about the poor prognosis for those diagnosed with brain cancer, the need for more investment in research and the importance of increasing patient involvement in new types of clinical trial.

And she will support our work and others in increasing global collaboration between researchers specialising in the field.

Baroness Jowell said: “Like thousands of others diagnosed with cancer every year, I have had to learn a huge amount very quickly about the disease I am living with.

“I now know that brain cancer survival statistics make particularly grim reading, wherever you are diagnosed around the world.

“But there is growing momentum globally to change that, driven by The Brain Tumour Charity and others.

“I hope this debate will help to raise awareness of the need for more research into effective treatments for brain tumours, as well as for the continuing development and improvement of cancer services generally in the UK."

Sarah Lindsell, our chief executive, said: “Tessa Jowell is fulfilling her pledge to help others living with cancer, as all those who know and admire her had absolutely no doubt that she would.

“By sharing her experience with a global audience and by instigating this debate in the House of Lords, she will reduce the isolation felt by thousands of people in the UK and around the world who live with a brain tumour.

“We are proud to stand alongside Tessa Jowell and her family as she continues her efforts to make a real difference for our community and for everyone affected by cancer."