Polegate’s MP is calling for greater awareness of pancreatic cancer.
Across the nation this year, 9600 men and women will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 8,800 will die of the disease. In the South East, 1455 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of that number, only 73 survived.
Only 17% of people in the South East know a lot about pancreatic cancer, according to a national awareness survey commissioned by Pancreatic Cancer Action. Nationally, the figures are even worse, with only 5% claiming they know a lot about the disease.
It is the UK’s fifth worst cause of cancer death, with a survival rate of just 5% - the worst of the 22 most common cancers. Despite these stats, pancreatic cancer remains largely unheard of and research into the disease is chronically underfunded.
Maria has echoed the concerns made by the Pancreatic Cancer Action; a UK charity founded by Ali Stunt, a rare survivor of the disease. The charity’s main objective is to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer with the public, the UK medical community and the government in order to improve early diagnosis.
Tell-tale symptoms of the disease include (but are not limited to) jaundice, weight loss, new onset diabetes and severe abdominal or back pain. However, these are extremely broad symptoms and it is imperative that screening processes are made available for pancreatic cancer. Less than 1% of sufferers currently are given a prognosis for a ten-year life expectancy. This is unacceptable.
Maria commented, “As a cancer nurse I am all too aware of the dangers of pancreatic cancer, and am uncomfortable with the lack of awareness surrounding the disease, respectively compared to other forms of cancer.
“I fully support the concerns raised by Pancreatic Cancer Action, and can ensure that I will be a vocal supporter of this issue in Westminster."
For more information about this campaign or symptoms click here.