Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce

Guts UK charity is a founding member of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce, a radical partnership of six charities targeting six overlooked and underfunded cancers with the lowest survival rates: lung, brain, liver, stomach, pancreatic and oesophageal. Four of these six cancers are digestive cancers.


The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce was set up by six charities that identified a marked difference in the survival rates for different cancer types.

While some cancer types such as breast and prostate cancer have seen an improvement in their survival rates, cancers of the lung, liver, oesophagus, brain, pancreas and stomach have not seen their survival rates improve for over 40 years. These six cancers are  collectively responsible for almost half of all common cancer deaths in the UK.

The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce is campaigning to double the five-year survival for each of the six less survivable cancers. These cancers have a collective five-year survival of only 16%. We want the Government and NHS England to commit to doubling survival to 28% by 2029.

Watch Anna Jewell, the Chair of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce, and Steve Metcalfe, oesophageal cancer survivor and Guts UK supporter, discuss the Taskforce’s aims on Sky News on 5th September 2018, the campaign’s launch day.

On 6th September, the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce held an event in Parliament to engage MPs and peers about the importance of the proposed target and to seek their support. The event allowed LSCT campaigners, patients and their family members to discuss the importance of improving the research resources for the long term and to distribute a copy of their Cancer Plan Submission to NHS England, which was also presented to NHS England representatives on 13th September, during a meeting for all stakeholders.

Keith Joscelyne died of stomach cancer 5 weeks and six days after diagnosis. Here, his wife Elaine and daughters, Dannielle and Sophie, speak with MPs at Westminster in support of our campaign to fund more research into the less survivable cancers.

Why do these six cancers have worse survival rates?

Survivability for these cancers is so low due to a historic legacy of neglect and underfunding when it comes to both research into and public awareness of these diseases. Thankfully there’s much that can be done.

How can you help?

Every cancer patient should be given the best chance possible. Please visit the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce website for information on how you can help.

Guts UK believes this target is achievable if we all work together. If you or someone you love has been affected by a digestive cancer, please share your story and add your voice to our campaign at info@gutscharity.org.uk

Read the amazing story of how  oesophageal cancer survivor Steve Metcalfe met Dr Tony Ellis, the doctor who diagnosed his cancer, at a Guts UK fundraising event.

Who are the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce partners?

LSCT is made up of the following six charities:

The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce is an alliance of six charities.