Improving pancreatic cancer care

Monday 23rd February 2015


It was good to meet old friends from Pancreatic Cancer Scotland (PCS) in Parliament last week.

I was pleased to hear from PCS that the health’s committee’s work last year into improving access to cancer medicines for patients has had a positive impact for individual’s suffering from the disease.

However, the charity were not in Holyrood to simply thank the committee, rather, they were here along with Pancreatic Cancer UK (PCUK) to encourage Members to the Scottish Parliament to support their calls for faster diagnosis of the disease and better care for patients.

When I met with them, I was told that pancreatic cancer is the sixth biggest cause of cancer death. It also has the worst survival outcomes of any of the most common cancers.

Tragically, if there are delays in an individual being diagnosed it can result in the cancer spreading to other parts of the body.

In order to speed up diagnosis and to provide better patient experiences throughout the whole process the charities have called for a number of improvements to be made.

For example, they would like to see greater public awareness raising of the signs and symptoms of the disease and more support for General Practitioners who are the initial point of contact for patients.

They are also asking for monitoring of patient experience so that patient care can be evaluated and for lessons to be learned. To hear more about pancreatic cancer and what PCS and PCUK are calling for you can access the Diagnostic Manifesto via the following link:

I sincerely hope that as a result of the increased awareness of this issue positive and practical change will come for patients and their families in the very near future.