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Welcome to our March 2016 Newsletter!

This month we look towards the benefit changes and list which ones are currently set to be affected from April 2016. We’ve also got news on the latest update to our Benefits Calculator, a real life story as well as our usual benefits and grants update.

We are also very keen on hearing from any carers who have received help from us and who might be willing to share their story as part of our upcoming benefits campaign.

It would involve filming an interview with you that we’d use for a short campaign video and taking some photos for our campaign website and posters.

Share your story with us.

Bowel Cancer UK


It's almost Bowel Cancer Awareness Month! 'Be a Star, Bake a Cake' and support us this April. Hold a coffee morning, afternoon tea or a bake sale at home, work ...or in the community and invite your friends, family and colleagues.
The money raised will help fund vital research and lifesaving work to stop bowel cancer.
Register here:

New figures show overall life expectancy has been rising in recent decades, yet the number of years people spend in good health has hardly changed. Additionally, research has shown that living healthily in middle age can double an individual's chances of being healthy at 70. The Government's new One You campaign hopes to help people make small improvements to their lifestyle. Our latest blog post explains the latest campaign from Public Health England and provides some tips and advice on living healthily.

Cancer patients have been promised faster access to innovative medicines by NHS England.

It has announced changes to the heavily criticised and regularly overspent Cancer Drugs Fund, which pays for drugs the NHS has deemed unaffordable.

The new system will start in July 2016 and have a fixed budget of £340m.

No patients receiving drugs on the old Cancer Drugs Fund will have their medication stopped.

At present, the CDF can choose to pay for innovative drugs the health watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has rejected for widespread use on the NHS.

But under the new system, NICE will make all the decisions.

By the time a drug comes on to the market, NICE will give it a yes, no or maybe rating.

Those given the go-ahead will be routinely offered across the NHS while those given a maybe rating can be considered for the CDF.

However, there will be "clear entry and exit criteria" to ensure money is spent on only the best breakthrough drugs.


Bruce Keogh, medical director at NHS England, said: "Improving cancer care is an absolute priority for NHS England... that is dependent on access to treatments.

"[The CDF] will provide faster access for patients, I think that's really important, and I think it will bring clarity to which drugs are the most effective sooner than we know at the moment."

The fund, which was established in 2011 and covers England, has seen its costs rise to £340m in 2015-16 from an initial annual budget of £200m.

An NHS official said: "Drug companies will need to price their drugs responsibly, and we make no apology for maintaining the pressure on this point on behalf of the public.

"Companies keen to work with the NHS for patients will get a new fast-track route to NHS funding for promising new drugs, backed by a speeded up and more transparent NICE assessment process."

Dr Paul Catchpole, from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said: "If cancer medicines go through more or less exactly the same NICE appraisal process that was in place five years ago - which necessitated the setting up of the CDF in the first place - we will largely get the same answers as before - the majority of medicines will be turned down.

"Without substantial changes the ABPI estimates that under the proposals two thirds of existing CDF medicines are likely to no longer be available to NHS patients by the end of the year."

Target Ovarian Cancer chief executive Annwen Jones said: "Important questions remain unanswered with this proposal.

"The Cancer Drugs Fund must retain the power to make a real difference to people's lives in the face of budget cuts."

Alex was 24 when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. In this video he talks about how he felt when he first got his stoma and how he learnt to fit it around his active lifestyle. ‪#‎Never2Young‬

Our Never Too Young campaign raises awareness of bowel cancer in people under the age of 50. In this video, Alex talks about how he felt when he first got hi..


Click here to access Silversurfers



Today is World Cancer Day ... In the UK, one in two people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime – and while it’s not nice to think about, the reality is at some point it’s likely we’ll be supporting a friend or loved one through cancer. Here are some simple and practical things we can do to support someone we know after they have been diagnosed with cancer >>> Do you have any tips for supporting a loved one with cancer?

Live Better With :: Cancer

The Cancer Survivor's Companion will help you to deal with the emotional fallout of cancer, whether it's days, months or years since your treatment ended. It is packed reassurance, understanding and simple, practical ways to tackle key issues such as: worry and anxiety, depression and low mood, anger, self esteem and body image, relationships and sex, fatigue, sleep and relaxation.

In September, I had a successful keyhole operation for the removal of a tumour in my colon. I am having trouble making up my mind about having chemotherapy (a type called 5FU). I understand it is six months of purgatory, with no positive result. Is there any other treatment with a good result? I'm a fit, active, 82-year-old woman.

Mrs M. Hughes, Ormskirk, Lancs.

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