UK has bad record of treating pancreatic cancer says charity

Thu, 08 Sep 2011
A new study by the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK has found that the UK has one of the worst records for in the world for pancreatic cancer care, and that not enough patients suffering from the disease receive surgery that could save their lives.

The report showed that, despite a fifth of patients with pancreatic cancer able to receive such surgery, only 10 per cent actually do, and that many people who have identified the symptoms of the cancer have to visit their GP up to five times before they get a full diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer can often lead on to type 2 diabetes, and it also has symptoms of high levels of blood sugar, but it is known that many people develop diabetes in the months and years before they receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. In Canada and Australia, survival rates from the disease are about double that of the UK.

It is an extremely virulent form of cancer, and has the lowest survival rate of any cancer in the UK, as only 3 per cent remain alive within five years of diagnosis, and most patients die within six months of diagnosis. Henry Scowcroft, of Cancer Research UK, commented "We urgently need to improve the way we manage the disease in this country."
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