The NHS Long Term Plan aims to support people to live longer, healthier lives by helping them to make healthier lifestyle choices and treating illness at an early stage.

More people are surviving cancer than ever before, but we know that we can save even more lives by catching more cancers early and starting treatment faster.

Over a third of cancers are preventable (Cancer Research UK – 2015). We are investing in cancer prevention and improving our national screening programmes, giving people faster access to diagnostic tests, investing in cutting edge treatments and technologies, and making sure more patients can quickly benefit from precise, highly personalised treatments as medical science advances.

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has introduced human papillomavirus (HPV) as the primary screening test in England. Almost all cervical cancers are linked to HPV and screening for high-risk strains of the virus means it can be monitored and any cell changes can be spotted early on, which could prevent around 600 additional cancers a year.

From September 2019, all 12 and 13 year olds in school Year 8 are offered the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine on the NHS.  The vaccine helps protect against cancers caused by HPV, including cervical cancer, some mouth and throat (head and neck) cancers, some cancers of the anal and genital areas as well as genital warts.

The NHS Long Term Plan has a strong focus on the treatment and prevention of illness by supporting patients to adopt improved healthy behaviours. This will both help people to live longer, have healthier lives, and reduce the demand for and delays in treatment and care.

The Prevention Programme will deliver tailored help for tobacco addiction, alcohol and obesity, with treatment to reduce the risk of early ill health and diseases such as cancer alongside cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory disease and mental ill-health.