Read the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer Report
Find out about the impact of Covid-19 on pancreatic cancer treatment and care in England
Today, we’re excited that the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pancreatic Cancer is publishing its new report on the impact of COVID-19 on people with pancreatic cancer.
Many health conditions have an APPG in Parliament: a group dedicated to raising awareness of the condition amongst MPs and Lords in the Houses of Parliament. We are the organisers of the APPG on Pancreatic Cancer, and work alongside two other pancreatic cancer charities – Pancreatic Cancer Action and Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund – to shout about the need for better treatment and care for people with pancreatic cancer.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked hard to monitor and understand the experiences of people with pancreatic cancer. Last March, it quickly became clear that cancer services were going to be disrupted by COVID-19, and that people with cancer were going to be affected. We, alongside our fellow pancreatic cancer charities, did all we could to step in and support patients through this trying time. In Pancreatic Cancer UK’s case, this meant our dedicated specialist nurses on our Support Line working hard to provide tailored support to a growing number of people with pancreatic cancer, our Information team working at lightning speed to get people up-to-the-minute information on topics like shielding and treatment changes, and our Policy, Intelligence and Campaigns team ensuring the experiences of people on the ground were conveyed to the highest levels of the NHS and Government.
The APPG report shows how people have had their treatments disrupted, diagnoses delayed and, in the worst cases, were left without the support they needed between their diagnosis and their death.
The APPG’s report captures this whirlwind of change, by detailing what the struggle looked like for people with the deadliest common cancer and what we must learn from it. It shows how people had their treatments disrupted, diagnoses delayed and, in the worst cases, were left without the support they needed between their diagnosis and their death. Shockingly, data in the report predicts that the pandemic’s impact on treatment will have already led to 521 excess pancreatic cancer deaths by March 2021. It also shows how clinicians across the country adapted, working at full throttle to transform their services to improve things for the patients they cared for and to flex their style of care to fit the strange new world of COVID-19.
We, like those we support, are incredibly grateful to NHS staff for all they have already done, and will continue to do, to support people through the pandemic. As we look back on a year since the most serious disruption began, the APPG on Pancreatic Cancer has pulled together data and evidence from across the spectrum of the pancreatic cancer care journey to paint a picture of what has happened and what needs to change as a result.
The APPG are now calling for treatment and care to be fully restored as quickly as possible; for life-saving research to resume; for continuous and holistic care and support for people with pancreatic cancer to be prioritised; and for crucial data to be collected so that we can understand the damage and come out of this pandemic stronger. We will be sharing this report with the Cancer Minister and working hard to ensure the very real impact on people with pancreatic cancer is not ignored.
We cannot afford for the impact of the pandemic to delay progress on pancreatic cancer survival rates. And we cannot allow people with pancreatic cancer to become the additional casualties of the pandemic.