Wayne David, Labour MP for Caerphilly, has given his support to earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer to help improve survival rates from the disease.
Mr David was speaking after attending a meeting of the new All Party Parliamentary Pancreatic Cancer Group at the House of Commons.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all of the 21 most common cancers in the UK. Currently, only about 4% of people who are diagnosed with the disease survive five years or more. This figure has hardly changed in the last 40 years.
Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnosis at an early stage. Symptoms can be non-specific and currently there are no simple tests to support screening and early diagnosis. About 80% of patients are diagnosed when the disease is too advanced for surgery, which is the only cure for pancreatic cancer. Improving early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is essential, not least because detecting the disease before it has spread offers patients the only chance of long-term survival.
Speaking after the meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Pancreatic Cancer Group, Mr David said, “I am very pleased to support this initiative. Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers which has seen little any effective progress in how best to tackle it. This needs to change. My own father died from pancreatic cancer after a very late diagnosis and sadly he was one of many”.