The All Party Parliamentary Group on pancreatic cancer (APPG) has announced the launch of a special inquiry. It will look at pancreatic cancer survival rates and investigate why rates of survival from the disease, at around 4%, remain the lowest of all the 21 most common cancers in the UK.
The APPG will consider a number of issues, including early diagnosis as currently most patients, about 80%, are diagnosed at a point when the disease is too advanced to treat.
The inquiry will also seek evidence as to why UK survival rates lag behind many other EU countries as well as the US, Canada and Australia.
The Inquiry's first session, which will focus on evidence from patients, families and carers will take place on 16th May 2013.
Further sessions with GPs, specialist clinicians, other health professionals working with pancreatic cancer patients - as well as NHS and Department of Health representatives - will be held during May, June and July. The deadline for written submissions to the inquiry is 17th May. However, as the first session will be heard on 16th May, evidence relating to this topic would be appreciated earlier. Submission guidelines can be found here.
Anna Soubry, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, will attend a separate meeting of the APPG on 18th June 2013 to address current government action to improve cancer survival rates.
Eric Ollerenshaw MP OBE, Secretary, APPG on pancreatic cancer, comments: "I welcome the launch of this Inquiry into pancreatic cancer survival rates. As someone who has lost a partner due to pancreatic cancer, I hope that patients, carers, GPs, clinicians and health managers will participate, and together we can improve survival rates."
Clara MacKay, Acting Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, comments: "Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have hardly changed in the last 40 years which means that this inquiry is long overdue. We greatly welcome the efforts of the APPG on pancreatic cancer to shine a light on this disease and the reasons why the 8,350 people diagnosed each year have such poor survival rates, compared to almost any other cancer patient group."