A review by Professor Sir Mike Richards suggests that cancer screening services receive major improvement to prevent a “worrying decline” in the number of people attending. The review was published today (16th October 2019) in the Independent.
In response to the review, Diana Jupp, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said:
“As today’s review says emphatically, screening saves lives but the lifeline that this has provided to tens of thousands of people across the UK remains out of reach for people facing the deadliest common cancer - pancreatic cancer. Survival for this disease remains as appalling now as it was 50 years ago. 1 in 4 people with pancreatic cancer die within a single month of diagnosis.
“Vague symptoms such as back pain or indigestion mean that GPs face an enormous challenge diagnosing this devastating disease in time to save lives. Just 20% of pancreatic cancers are detected at an early stage. To truly transform survival, major investment is needed into research that can unlock the breakthroughs in biomarkers and screening needed to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier. Only by doing this does pancreatic cancer stand a chance of meeting the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition for 75% of all cancers to be diagnosed early by 2028.
“Pancreatic Cancer UK’s investment into the Early Diagnosis Research Alliance offers a possible route to finally turning the dial for early diagnosis in favour of patients, but we cannot make change happen alone. We urge the Government and the NHS to prioritise and focus on pancreatic cancer.”