As reported in The Guardian and The Telegraph, Cancer Research UK has announced that by 2035, three quarters of people will survive a diagnosis of cancer if clinical improvements continue at their current rate. However, Cancer Research UK has acknowledged that there may not be an improvement seen in hard-to-treat cancers such as pancreatic cancer.
Responding to the announcement, Kevin Armstrong, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Pancreatic Cancer UK said:
“It’s great to hear that thanks to improvements in detection, diagnosis and treatments, more people overall are set to survive cancer in the UK. It is also pleasing to see that Cancer Research UK is set to prioritise cancers with the lowest survival rates, such as pancreatic cancer. Over the last decade just one percent of UK cancer research spending has gone to pancreatic cancer research. With only five per cent of patients with pancreatic cancer surviving for five years or more, a figure that has barely changed since the 1970s, urgent action needs to be taken to tackle this dreadful disease.
“It is crucial we prioritise finding ways to ensure more people are diagnosed earlier, such as referring people to multidisciplinary clinics where the disease can either be ruled out, or they can be referred to specialist treatment more quickly if needed. We must also immediately address the fact that patients still have very few treatment options, through urgent reform of the way that cancer drugs are approved, so that new and effectivetreatments can be made available to patients. People with this tough disease must be given the chance to live longer and have more time to spend with their loved ones.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK is encouraging people to join the charity in taking on pancreatic cancer by registering for its annual summit in February 2017. The focus of the summit will be on the innovations in diagnosis, advancing treatment and transforming the research landscape. Together we must address the underfunding in pancreatic cancer research and make sure everyone affected by the disease gets the help they need.