To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to (a) allocate additional funding from the public purse to research on pancreatic cancer; (b) launch a campaign to help enable earlier identification of the symptoms of that cancer; and (c) ensure consistency in the application of treatment and care standards to people diagnosed with that cancer.
The Department invests £1 billion per year in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR does not allocate funding for specific disease areas. The following table shows the NIHR’s Programme funding for pancreatic cancer in each of the last three years.
NIHR Research Programmes total
In addition, the NIHR Clinical Research Network supported 62 studies over the last three years.
Several factors are considered when deciding which ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ (BCOC) campaigns to develop and run, with one of the main criteria being the scope to save lives through earlier diagnosis. This can only be effective through broad awareness campaigns if the cancer has a high enough incidence to be able to impact upon through marketing campaigns, as well as a clear early sign or symptom that the public can act upon should it arise.
In 2017, Public Health England (PHE) ran a pilot campaign in the East and West Midlands which focussed on a range of abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort that can be indicative of several cancers, including pancreatic cancer. In 2017, PHE also ran a pilot campaign in the East and West Midlands which focussed on a range of abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort that can be indicative of several cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Further information on the pilot is available at the following link:
PHE is currently undertaking new data analysis and research to determine the future direction of BCOC activity.
Over the next three years every patient with cancer will receive a Personalised Care and Support Plan based on holistic needs assessment, end of treatment summaries and health and wellbeing information and support. All patients, including those with secondary cancers, will have access to the right expertise and support, including a Clinical Nurse Specialist or other support worker.