Thank you for contacting me about pancreatic cancer.
In February 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 this guidance will ensure quicker and more accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, as well as faster referral to pancreatic. There is also work underway to achieve early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer using biomarkers although this has not yet been extended into clinical practice.
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, with annual spending on cancer research up by over £35 million since 2010. I also recognise the indispensable contribution made by charities in driving forward research into cancer, with Cancer Research UK alone spending £27 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.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, I have been in discussions with ministers and with our local NHS management to ensure the best possible care is being delivered for all cancer patients at this difficult time, including for pancreatic cancer. It is vital that cancer care continues to be prioritised even under these difficult conditions, and I will continue to work to ensure that this happens in our area.
I am grateful to constituents who have invited me to attend the Pancreatic Cancer Virtual Drop-In Event on the 30th of November. I will be unable to attend on this occasion due to prior commitments, but I can assure you that I will continue to press for cancer diagnosis and care to be prioritised, including for pancreatic cancer.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.