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Wednesday 28th September 2016
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Pancreatic cancer care lacking in UK

7th September 2011

The UK is among the worst countries in the world in the way it treats patients with cancer of the pancreas.

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Experts say that inadequate care has left the UK poorly ranked in terms of survival for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Many patients with symptoms of pancreatic cancer see a doctor up to five times to get a diagnosis and while a fifth of patients with the disease could receive potentially life-saving surgery, only 10% do.

Findings from the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK have found that most sufferers die within six months of being diagnosed and only 16% live for a year.

Pancreatic cancer has the poorest five-year survival rate of any cancer in Britain, with just 3% of people alive five years after diagnosis.

Commenting on the findings, England’s cancer tsar Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We clearly have a long way to go before we can say with confidence that everyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer has access to the best possible treatment and care available.”

He said that while pancreatic cancer is a challenging cancer, it “must not be written off as a hopeless cause.”

Pancreatic cancer, which kills about 7,600 Britons a year, is difficult to diagnose but the most common signs of the disease are pain in the abdomen which may spread to the back, jaundice, and unexplained weight loss.

Cancer Research UK said there was no excuse for patients in the UK patients faring worse and called for an urgent need to improve the way pancreatic cancer is managed in the UK.

 

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