Many thanks to those who contacted me about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
I can assure you that every effort is being made to improve early diagnosis and to drive up survival rates for pancreatic cancer. In 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published new clinical guideline on pancreatic cancer, providing guidance on diagnosis, monitoring those with an inherited high risk, as well as management of the disease. I am confident that this guidance will ensure quicker and more accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, as well as faster referral to treatment.
Given the low survival rates for pancreatic cancer, research into new treatments and ways to diagnose this cancer early are vital. £882 million has been spent on cancer research since 2010 through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), with annual spending on cancer research up by over £35 million since 2010. The UK Government invests £1 billion per year in health and care research through the NIHR. I also recognise the indispensable contribution made by charities in driving forward research into cancer, with Cancer Research UK alone spending £17 million on pancreatic cancer over the last financial year.
These measures form just part of the NHS’s ambitious wider strategy to improve cancer outcomes and save 55,000 lives per year by 2028. Following the announcement of a £33.9 billion cash increase in the budget of NHS England, I am more confident than ever that the cancer strategy will achieve this aim.
I was very interested to learn of the Pancreatic Cancer UK’s drop-in event being held on the 30th November and while I am unable to attend, I will ensure ministers are made aware of the concerns you have raised with me.
I will continue to monitor this issue. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.