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Making our information accessible

Posted by: Information & support 9 December 2016

We’re absolutely delighted to have won a Plain English award for two of our booklets, Diet and pancreatic cancer, and Pancreatic cancer: An overview of diagnosis and treatment.

The Plain English awards are presented to organisations judged to have produced the best examples of English. It’s great to be recognised for the work we do to empower people and help them understand their diagnosis, treatment options, and what’s happening to them.

Health professionals often explain things in ways that are difficult for people who are not medically trained to understand. And there is a lot of information on the internet that uses similar language. This can cause confusion, misunderstandings, and can be scary. For example, I have heard of people being told that their cancer is progressing, and they think this is good news. Progressing sounds good. But it actually means that the cancer is growing or spreading. This kind of misunderstanding can only add to the problems experienced by those facing pancreatic cancer. 

"When I was diagnosed, I needed information on everything from what is a 'shadow' on pancreas from CT scan, to what is a Whipple’s? I found and used the Pancreatic Cancer UK website for information about pancreatic cancer and surgery."
- Pancreatic cancer patient

We know how tough pancreatic cancer is, and it can be really complicated to manage. For example, using pancreatic enzyme supplements such as Creon® to manage diet symptoms can be confusing difficult to get right.

So it’s really important that the information we produce is clear and straight forward. We use simple, everyday language, explain all medical words, and avoid using any jargon.

A really key part of this is involving people affected by pancreatic cancer to review our information. They read drafts of everything we write, and tell us about anything that’s unclear, confusing, or difficult to understand. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to produce such high quality information.

"I wasn't told anything about the long term effects on the digestive system of surgery and Creon® was only mentioned in passing. It would have been helpful to get that info as a lay person."
- Pancreatic cancer patient

You can find all our information online. You can also download or order our publications.