Nigel Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, showed support for improved Pancreatic Cancer research, awareness, diagnosis, treatment and care by visiting an awareness exhibition at the Scottish Parliament on February 18.
The exhibition stand, manned by representatives of Pancreatic Cancer UK and Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, included information about the disease as well as a 10 point plan – a ‘Diagnosis Manifesto for Scotland’ - put forward by Pancreatic Cancer UK, calling for faster diagnosis and a better patient experience throughout the whole diagnostic process.
In Scotland, pancreatic cancer is the sixth biggest cause of cancer death, with 770 cases diagnosed, and 742 deaths recorded in 2012. Late diagnosis results in many patients being diagnosed at a point when the cancer has spread to other parts of their body. It is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK yet receives only one per cent of the total cancer research spend.
Mr Don said: “I’m pleased to be able to show my support for pancreatic cancer patients and to see the work that the charities do on their behalf. It is important to both raise awareness of pancreatic cancers and also to learn more about what needs to be done. I was not surprised to learn that the general advice about leading a healthy lifestyle is as relevant to pancreatic cancer as to other cancers.”
David Park, head of campaigns and policy at Pancreatic Cancer UK added: “Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival outcomes of any of the most common cancers and we need to do more to improve pancreatic cancer awareness, diagnosis, research, treatment and care across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Pancreatic Cancer UK is grateful to Nigel for taking the time to visit our exhibition in Parliament and we hope that with increased political awareness will come positive and practical change for patients and their families in the future.”