McArthur backs ‘No Time to Wait’ campaign to save lives from pancreatic cancer

21 Nov 2022

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has pledged his support to Pancreatic Cancer UK’s 'No Time to Wait' campaign which is calling on the Scottish Government to provide additional funding this winter and an action plan to speed up diagnosis and improve survival for pancreatic cancer.

Last week, on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, Pancreatic Cancer UK revealed that almost 60% of people with pancreatic cancer are being diagnosed in A&E, representing the highest proportion of any common cancer (3% breast, 8% prostate and 36% lung cancer).

Recent research by the charity has also revealed that more than 8 in 10 GPs fear that extreme pressures on the NHS this winter will prevent people with pancreatic cancer and other less survivable cancers from having lifesaving treatment. A further 85% believe pressures on the NHS in the coming months will exceed those seen during the pandemic.

The campaign is calling for the implementation of a best-practice pathway so that everyone with pancreatic cancer in Scotland is diagnosed and receives a dedicated treatment plan within 21 days of referral for suspected cancer, supported by increased investment to specialist cancer nurses.

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

"A cancer diagnosis of any kind is devastating not just for the individual concerned, but for all their loved ones too. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly cruel disease which underlines the importance of everyone knowing the common signs.

"Raising awareness of pancreatic cancer is all the more critical given the unacceptable rates of diagnosis and survival rates, in stark contrast to the significant progress made amongst other common cancers over the years.

"With the pandemic having a serious knock-on impact to our vital cancer services, we urgently need to speed up diagnosis and access to treatment. I'm proud to back Pancreatic Cancer UK's campaign calling on both our governments to give our NHS the resources needed to beat this devastating disease and the support those diagnosed deserve."

Dawn Crosby, Head of Scotland at Pancreatic Cancer UK, added:

"We’re extremely grateful Liam McArthur MSP has shown his support for our No Time to Wait campaign."

"The pandemic, staff shortages and underfunding have all pushed the NHS to breaking point. Pancreatic cancer is the quickest killing cancer, and any delays to diagnosis and treatment could cost people their chance of survival.

"Governments across the UK must bring forward and implement funded cancer plans to deliver faster diagnosis and treatment that will save lives, not just this winter but well into the future. We cannot afford to continue lurching from one worsening crisis to another. People with pancreatic cancer, their loved ones, and hardworking NHS staff all deserve better."

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