Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt reveals he had cancer and will join charity run

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed he had cancer and has since recovered. The Tory MP has said he will be taking part in a 5k run to raise money for cancer charities after the disease affected some of those close to him ‘in a very dramatic way’ and he himself suffered from it. even suffered a “minor”.

Mr Hunt will change his party color from blue to pink to represent Cancer Research UK in the charity’s Race for Life this summer. The MP for South West Surrey will be among thousands in Stoke Park, Guildford on July 24.

Mr Hunt, currently chairman of the health and social care select committee, said: ‘All my family members have had cancer. I myself had a minor one which luckily was resolved.

“So it has affected my family in a very dramatic way and I know it has affected many families. My work on the select committee has shown me that there are many things we can do to improve our rates. of cancer survival.

“They’re getting better, but the more we can do to fundraise and raise awareness, the more lives we’ll save.”

The 55-year-old MP will run with cancer survivor Rod Pluthero, 73, and fellow Tory MP Angela Richardson, 47.

The two MPs are also backing a campaign to create a cancer and surgery innovation center at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. Ms Richardson, who represents Guildford, said: “There will be few of us who have not been touched by cancer – with one in two people now developing it at some stage in our lives, research on effective treatments and disease prevention is an overwhelming health priority.

“Jeremy has been an advocate and champion of cancer research, advanced treatments and improving the patient experience for many years.

“It’s a pleasure for me to be able to join him at the Race for Life and for us to drive this campaign forward together to enable the best possible outcomes for cancer patients in the future.”

Mr Pluthero, from Haslemere, Surrey, had successful treatment for tongue cancer in 2016 and 2018, but in 2020 he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his lower right jaw. He underwent a 10.5-hour operation in which surgeons replaced part of his jawbone with bone from his fibula, saving his life.

Mr. Pluthero said, “We are all passionate about improving the lives of cancer patients from the moment they are diagnosed, through to any treatment they may need. We want to improve every aspect of this, developing better and gentler treatments and achieving better results.

“By participating in Race for Life, people are funding research into life-saving discoveries, less harsh treatments and ways to educate people about life choices.

“And they also help keep loved ones together longer, see people reach milestone birthdays, and bring forward the day that all 200 types of cancer will be cured.”

According to Cancer Research UK, half of people born after 1960 in the UK will have cancer in their lifetime. Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a national series of 3k, 5k and 10k races, as well as children’s events, which bring in millions of pounds each year.

Lynn Daly, spokesperson for Cancer Research UK in the South East, said the group looked forward to welcoming runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.

She said: “The Guildford Race for Life will be fun, emotional, colourful, uplifting and an event to remember this year.”

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, added: “This will be our 21st year of partnership with Cancer Research UK and Race for Life and we hope this year will be our biggest yet.”

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