Pancreatic Cancer

Thank you for contacting me about support for people affected by pancreatic cancer.

Every effort is being made to improve early diagnosis and survival rates for pancreatic cancer.

I recognise the importance of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s “Don’t Write Me Off” campaign to ensure that the optimal care pathway for treatment is implemented. I agree that more must be done to reduce the survival gap between pancreatic cancer and other cancers. The NHS Long Term Plan set an ambition to improve these outcomes, so that 75 per cent of all cancers can be diagnosed at stage 1 and 2 by 2028 when it is easier to treat.

This ambition will be achieved through ongoing work between the Department of Health and Social Care to increase early diagnosis and survival rates for pancreatic cancer.  Through the Elective Recovery Plan, the Government is investing £2.3 billion to create more Community Diagnostic Centres which will be prioritised for cancer services.

To increase early diagnosis for those with pancreatic cancer, NHS England is delivering a range of interventions, which include providing a route into pancreatic cancer surveillance for those at inherited high-risk, to identify lesions before they develop into cancer and diagnose cancers sooner.

The NHS is also implementing non-specific symptom (NSS) pathways for patients who present with vague and non-site specific symptoms (including pancreatic cancer symptoms) which do not align clearly to a tumour type. I also understand that NHS England has also formed an expert group to consider a pathway for hepato-pancreato-biliary cancers, including pancreatic cancer.

Cancer survival rates have increased year-on-year over the past decade and the investment in research has been vitally important in achieving this. I recognise the need for further investment into cancer research so that we can continue to drive up survival rates.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.