I have joined Pancreatic Cancer UK in Parliament today (31 October 2018) to pledge my support for their campaign to ensure those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer receive treatment within 20 days by 2024.
To mark this year’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Pancreatic Cancer UK are launching the Demand Faster Treatment campaign calling on the UK Government to set an ambition to treat people quicker.
Figures released at the outreach session demonstrated the challenge facing clinicians in helping to save more people’s lives. In North Wales there were 142 diagnoses of pancreatic cancer in 2015. Sadly, there were 102 deaths in the same year demonstrating that if pancreatic cancer is not treated quickly enough the mortality rate remains high. This means that for every 100,000 people 18.5 will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 13.3 will die.
Pancreatic cancer is historically underfunded in the UK when it comes to research, receiving only 1% of the cancer research budget over the last decade – this is set by the UK Government.
It is the 11th most common cancer in the UK and because of its lowest surviving rate it is treated as a cancer emergency.
The Demand Faster Treatment campaign also wants to see 15% of people with pancreatic cancer having potentially curative surgery, this would enable 420 extra people to survive at least a year per year.
The figures for pancreatic cancer in North Wales are deeply concerning. The death rates are replicated throughout the UK and it is important that we work towards faster and better treatments. That is why I am supporting the Demand Faster Treatment campaign.
We need to see the UK Government provide better funding into pancreatic cancer research as it is still the 11th most common cancer and we will only improve survival rates if we have better understanding of this horrendous disease. Not only do we need greater funding for research, but we need better funding of the Welsh Government so we can have a properly funded Welsh NHS. The Welsh Government budget is 5% smaller in real terms compared to 2010-11 because of cuts made by the UK Government.
It’s important that MPs work closely with experts, such as Pancreatic Cancer UK, so that we can understand the challenges facing our clinicians and how we can help them. I hope that we can achieve the 20 day target by 2024 so that we can help more people survive this disease.