On Tuesday 15th November, the Wales Cancer Network published the new Cancer Delivery Plan for Wales 2016-2020, which aims to provide the best possible care and support to everyone affected by cancer. Pancreatic Cancer UK worked closely with the Wales Cancer Network and helped to inform the Welsh Government via consultations.
Responding to the new plan, Ms Alex Ford, CEO at Pancreatic Cancer UK said:
“We’re pleased that the Delivery Plan acknowledges the need to focus on cancers with particularly poor survival outcomes and that measures such as; piloting of MDCs for vague symptoms, increasing access to direct tests and a focus on improving imaging capacity should help deliver improvements for these cancers.
“We also strongly welcome plans to develop a research strategy for the next ten years. It is important that any strategy should focus its attention on the lowest surviving cancers and reflect the need to increase research into pancreatic cancer, which has historically been underfunded. Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of the 21 most common cancers and over the last decade it has only received 1 per cent of the cancer research budget.
“Whilst the plan discusses the need for public awareness campaigns and measures for delivery improvement, it does not set out plans for a campaign focussed on vague symptoms of cancer or specific measures to target less survivable cancers. With 47% of patients diagnosed through A&E presentation and five and ten year survival for pancreatic cancer having improved very little since the early 1970s, we must ensure that cancers with the lowest survival rates are not left even further behind.
“We would like to see further clarity and information on how patient organisations can feed into the implementation of the Delivery Plan, and would like any delivery group to include patient representation and organisations representing the cancers with the lowest survival rates.”