Pancreatic Cancer Action is a vibrant charity, working towards our vision of a day when everyone is diagnosed early and survives pancreatic cancer. Founded by Ali Stunt in 2010 after her own experience of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer aged 41, we specifically focus on improving pancreatic cancer survival through early diagnosis throughout the UK.
Decades of underfunding for pancreatic cancer means that there are no early detection tests for pancreatic cancer on the horizon. While no test exists, the key to improving survival rates is getting more patients diagnosed early. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. Currently, 5-year survival is less than 7% in the UK, however for patients able to have surgery to remove their tumour this increases up to 30%. We are determined to ensure more people are diagnosed in time to have life-saving surgery – currently the only route to a cure.
Pancreatic cancer is often considered the ‘forgotten cancer’. Its vague symptoms often result in late diagnosis followed by death within months - but sometimes, sadly all too often, within weeks or days. 50% of all diagnoses are made in the A&E department – mostly with advanced, inoperable cancer. Average age of diagnosis is 72 however 40% of patients are now below 69 and the age of diagnosis is notably falling. We want to change these statistics.
Our charitable objectives are to:
- Raise public awareness and knowledge of pancreatic cancer and its symptoms – we do this through well targeted campaigns to raise the profile of the disease and encourage people to consider any symptoms they, or people they know may have and visit their GP.
- Provide practical resources and raise awareness amongst the healthcare community –healthcare professionals have a vital part to play in early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer which is why we provide free resources and accredited learning for GPs, pharmacists and pancreatic cancer specialists.
- Fund research into early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer – we seed funded innovative ideas from outstanding medical researchers who are testing innovative ways of diagnosing pancreatic cancer.
- Campaign and lobby the government and key influencers for change – it is important that key stakeholders and policy makers in Government are made aware of the issues surrounding pancreatic cancer. From inequalities in funding, care and survival to access to treatments and the lack of public awareness of the disease, we highlight this wherever we can.
- Provide free patient information for those diagnosed and living with pancreatic cancer - we want patients and carers to have credible, evidence-based information on the disease and its treatments. That is why we provide free, comprehensive information in a variety of ways, supporting those who are battling this disease.