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20 November 2015

Local MSP Supports Pancreatic Cancer Charities at Parliamentary Event

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson attended a parliamentary reception at Holyrood, hosted by Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK, to help spread the word about the disease during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Over 700 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year in Scotland, and only about five per cent of patients in Scotland live for five years or more after diagnosis. Mr Stevenson learned about these dreadful survival rates, and the urgent need for people to be diagnosed earlier, as well as more funding for research and better treatments, at the event. He also had the chance to meet local patients and their families and representatives from Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK, as well as researchers, surgeons, oncologists, and nurses who support people with the disease.

The event also saw Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK celebrate that for the first time, together with the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, they will co-fund almost £500,000 of pancreatic cancer research in Scotland. The research will aim to improve existing treatments and investigate new ones, with the hope of ultimately allowing thousands of patients to live for longer.

Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of all the 21 common cancers. One person dies every hour of the disease, and it is predicted that by 2030 pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer as the fourth most common cancer killer.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“It was a pleasure to attend this event organised by Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK, to learn more about the work of the charities and the support and research they fund. Sadly, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer speaks for itself and it is clear that there is a huge amount of work to be done to change that. There are many people within my constituency who have been touched by pancreatic cancer. We need to do more to improve awareness of the disease to help more people be diagnosed earlier. That’s why I’m supporting Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month this November.”

Dr Ross Carter, founder and trustee of Pancreatic Cancer Scotland said:

“It is fantastic that Stewart Stevenson MSP attended this event. Over 700 people a year in Scotland are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and this number is growing. Raising awareness that can help with earlier diagnosis is extremely important and I am very grateful to Stewart for helping with this.”

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said:

“We were delighted to welcome Stewart to this important event at Holyrood and we thank him for his support. We hope he will help us spread the word about the disease in the North-east this Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

“It’s shocking that the number of people in Scotland living for five years after diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is only around five per cent, and that figure has barely improved in the last 40 years. Yet across the nation, we know so little about the disease – that’s why it’s so important that we all find out more about it. I would urge local people to find out more about the disease and its symptoms today.”

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include tummy pain, weight loss, yellow skin or eyes or itchy skin and oily floating poo.

For more information about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/pcam.
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