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Cancer52 represents over 100 predominantly small patient support group cancer charities united by their vision of seeing a better future for everyone affected by the rare and less common cancers, which account for more than half of all cancer deaths in the UK.

Its aim is to promote improved diagnosis, treatment and support

for those affected by rare and less common cancers. Cancer52 works on matters that impact on the rare and less common cancer community – defined as all cancers outside the ‘big four’ of breast, prostate, lung and bowel.

Current data shows that 47% of cancers diagnosed are rare and

less common cancers, yet they account for 55% of cancer deaths.[i]

[i] source




Our Story



Cancer52 was founded by Professor Sir Mike Richards CBE in 2006 to provide one collaborative voice for rare and less common cancers and inform the development of the Cancer Reform Strategy. The organisation was so named because at the time 52% of cancer deaths were from rare and less common cancers. That percentage has since risen to 55%.


Says Professor Sir Mike Richards: 


“Ten years after its foundation Cancer52 continues to have a major role in championing earlier diagnosis, better treatment and better care for the 52% of cancer patients who die of rare and less common cancers.


“Cancer52 provided me in my then role as National Cancer Director one representative voice to work with for rare and less common cancers.


“We simply would not have been able to deal effectively with all the smaller cancer charities. The existence of Cancer52 meant that we included the views of many more cancer organisations and patients in our work than would otherwise have been possible.


“I am delighted to see that this role continues and that the voice has grown stronger and more powerful.”

- Rose Woodward, Cancer Patient & Advocate Founder | Kidney Cancer Support Network
I find the information and insights I get from Cancer52 members invaluable. I feel I can talk with a stronger voice because I am a member”  
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