Demand Survival Now

14 July 2020

Tackling the UK’s pancreatic cancer emergency

The petition for Demand Survival Now has now ended. Thank you to over 60,000 of you who signed our petition calling on governments to take action to make pancreatic cancer a survivable disease.

About the campaign

In the last 50 years, pancreatic cancer survival rates have barely changed – while survival for other cancers has improved massively.

Shockingly, pancreatic cancer is 8 times more deadly than other common cancers like prostate, breast or bowel cancer.

It’s not fair that the 10,000 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year in the UK should have to face such deadly odds.

Lynne’s story

Lynne was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009. To survive, she had to have major surgery and could easily have died on at least half a dozen occasions. She was told a number of times that she wouldn’t live through the night.

But each time, she came through.

I know how lucky I am to be alive. The odds for pancreatic cancer survival are as appalling now as they were ten years, or even 50 years ago. This dreadful disease has been neglected for too long.

Lynne Walker, 10 year pancreatic cancer survivor and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Pancreatic Cancer UK

There were a number of things that played a part in my survival - good fortune was definitely part of it. That is particularly true of people who have pancreatic cancer. You have to be fortunate to get your diagnosis. You have to be fortunate enough to get a treatment and ultimately very fortunate indeed to survive. That doesn't represent a strategy for dealing with a massive cancer killer.

Lynne Walker

Our 2019/20 Demand Survival Now campaign demonstrated that survival rates can dramatically increase when governments and clinicians prioritise tough cancers. We urged every UK government to develop a plan to make pancreatic cancer  survivable, by investing in research, improving treatment and raising awareness of the symptoms. This message reached 95% of parliamentary candidates during the 2019 general election campaign, and a Westminster Hall debate supported our demands. Our campaign petition gained widespread support across the UK. Together, we will ensure that governments and policymakers act to improve pancreatic cancer survival.

Change is possible

Our campaign report (PDF) demonstrates that when governments and the clinical community come together to prioritise less survivable cancers, such as lung cancer, survival can be transformed.

We’re urging every government across the UK to produce a national plan focusing on three areas to make pancreatic cancer a survivable disease:

  1. Investing £25 million in pancreatic cancer research every year to save lives from the deadliest common cancer.
  2. Delivering better, faster treatment and care for everyone across the UK.
  3. Opening the public’s eyes to the symptoms of pancreatic cancer with a dedicated awareness campaign.

It's time to beat the deadliest cancer

Read more about the report and national plan