Southend West MP backs campaign for faster treatment for pancreatic cancer

Sir David Amess MP has pledged his support to Pancreatic Cancer UK’s campaign demanding faster treatment for people with pancreatic cancer – one in four patients with the disease die within a month of diagnosis making it the quickest killing cancer. The charity is calling for the Government and devolved administrations to set a new ambition to begin treatment for all pancreatic cancer patients across the UK within 20 days of diagnosis by 2024.

At the launch of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Demand Faster Treatment campaign, Sir David Amess MP heard that if avoidable delays to treatment were removed many more pancreatic cancer patients could be eligible for surgery – the only current cure for the disease. To help achieve this ambition the charity is recommending the roll-out of a new treatment programme which in a recent trial successfully reduced patients’ time to surgery from two months to just over two weeks.

One in four people with pancreatic cancer die within a month of diagnosis, making it the quickest killing cancer. Survival for the incredibly tough disease has lagged behind other cancers since the 1970s, with less than seven per cent of people with pancreatic cancer patients living for five years (4). UK survival for pancreatic cancer is behind that of European counterparts: Belgium and Germany have a five-year survival of 12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. 

Sir David Amess MP said: “37 people in NHS Southend are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year and tragically less than seven per cent won’t survive beyond five years. This is unacceptable and much more needs to be done to improve the outcomes for people with this deadly disease. I hope everyone in Southend West will join me in backing this campaign to transform the future for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and help them receive treatment before it is too late.”

Diana Jupp, Chief Executive at Pancreatic Cancer UK said: “We’re extremely grateful Sir David Amess MP has shown his support for our Demand Faster Treatment campaign. Too many pancreatic cancer patients are being denied their only chance of survival because they are simply not being treated fast enough. One in four people diagnosed with this devastating disease die within a month, making it the quickest killing cancer. It’s so ferocious that patients cannot afford to wait. In recent years we have seen outstanding progress in other cancers such as breast and prostate, and a shocking lack of progress for pancreatic. Together we can change that. We are urging people from Southend West to take on this deadly cancer and sign our petition calling on the government to recognise pancreatic cancer as an emergency. We owe it to all those affected by pancreatic cancer to be more ambitious and make sure that everyone is treated within 20 days of diagnosis.” 

Pancreatic Cancer UK is calling on the UK Government and devolved administrations to set a new ambition to treat all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 20 days by 2024. To find out more about the Demand Faster Treatment campaign and sign the petition, visit: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/demandfastertreatment