Pancreatic Cancer: The Importance of Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis is vital in the treatment of cancers and other conditions. The re-purposing of NHS services to deal with the Covid19 pandemic saw many NHS services postponed/delayed/cancelled.

With Phase 1 in Scotland – beginning on Thursday 28th of May – NHS services will begin to re-open those vital services.

Pancreatic Cancer

For more information click on this link: Pancreatic Cancer Scotland

pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the 5th biggest cause of cancer death in the UK, however, it is set to become the 4th, overtaking breast cancer by 2026 as other cancers’ survival rates continue to improve.

The survival statistics for pancreatic cancer have not changed markedly in nearly 50 years. 10,000 people are diagnosed in the UK each year with one person dying each hour from the disease.

  • Every day, 24 people will die of pancreatic cancer – that’s more than the number who will die in road traffic accidents.
  • Less than 7% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will survive for more than five years – this is because the cancer is very advanced when diagnosed.
  • If patients are able to have surgery and diagnosed early, 5-year survival increases to 30%
  • There is no early detection test for pancreatic cancer.
  • The UK has one of the lowest survival rates for pancreatic cancer in the world.
  • Just under half of patients are diagnosed after admission to A & E.
  • Almost half of the UK do not know what the pancreas looks like (July 2019, survey based on 2,000 participants)

pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms

Pancreatic cancer symptoms include

  • Unexplained and significant weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort that can come and go, which tends to get worse when eating
  • Indigestion that’s not responding to prescribed medication
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, dark urine or very itchy skin (jaundice)
  • Fatty and pale stools that are smelly and hard to flush
  • Mid-back pain or discomfort

Helpful information click on this link: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information and advice from Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA)

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