Ruth Cadbury MP joins patients to find out more about challenges of chronic leukaemia
30th January 2016
Local MP Ruth Cadbury last week joined MPs, charity representatives and patients at an event at the House of Commons to find out more about the challenges dealt with by people living with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL).
CLL is the most common type of leukaemia - a cancer of the white blood cells – in adults. It means that stem cells start overproducing white blood cells that are not fully developed – in CLL, these are called lymphocytes. Although many people with CLL won’t have symptoms for a long time, when they develop they can include an increased number of infections, increased tiredness and fatigue and bleeding and bruising more easily. It is estimated that around 2,700 - 3,200 people in the UK are diagnosed with CLL each year.
On 24th January, the CLL Support Association (CLLSA) held an event in the House of Commons to give MPs the opportunity to find out more about CLL and hear directly from patients currently living with the condition. Ruth heard about the challenges that patients face, including the need for proper post-diagnosis support to help patients understand the condition and manage their symptoms and treatment options; and the need to improve access to treatment options, including innovative new drugs which improve survival and quality of life.
David Innes, Chair of the CLL Support Association, said:
“CLL is the most common form of leukaemia in adults, and the CLLSA is keen to improve awareness of the disease and its impact. The key challenges we need to tackle at the moment are to improve post-diagnosis support to ensure that all people who are newly diagnosed get the information and support they need; and to improve access to new and innovative drugs which are increasingly making a difference to the lives of those with CLL. We were delighted to have the opportunity to talk about these challenges with MPs.”
Contact Ruth and her team by phone
For constituency issues phone 020 8581 3646. Please call between 10am and 3pm.
For parliamentary issues phone 020 7219 8590
The CLL Support Association
The CLLSA is a UK wide organisation aimed at supporting patients with CLL. Our activities include running patient meetings around the country where patients are able to hear from leading clinicians on the latest treatments and discuss developments with the clinicians and their fellow patients; advocacy within the NHS, including making the case for new drugs to be allowed into the system; raising the profile of CLL within parliament; producing information leaflets and seeking to reach new patients.
The CLLSA was established 10 years ago and has been run by trustees who are all volunteers and either suffer from CLL, are clinicians, or are relatives of those with CLL. We operate a telephone helpline and an online forum to give members vital first line support and guidance. Our 1500 strong members have access to our website and newsletters, providing information the latest treatments, promising new research and CLL patient support groups.