Pancreatic Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve early diagnosis rates for pancreatic cancer.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed late as patients do not usually present to primary or secondary care until symptomatic. There is work underway on early diagnosis using biomarkers but this has not yet extended into clinical practice. Early diagnosis “decision aid tools” have also been explored for use among primary care but the predictive value of these are low so that it is not possible to practically differentiate patients with pancreatic cancer from the far larger proportion of patients without cancer but similar symptoms. NHS England’s Accelerate, Co-ordinate, Evaluate (ACE) programme is testing innovative ways of diagnosing cancer earlier, with ACE Wave 2 piloting multi-disciplinary diagnostic centres for patients with vague or non-specific symptoms.

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