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Pancreatic cancer research budget triples over two years

This news post is over 6 years old

Investment in pancreatic cancer research has tripled over the past two years, new figures have shown.

Cancer Research UK said it had spent £18 million in 2015/16 in a bid to tackle rising rates of the disease – up from £6m in 2013/14.

The additional investment comes as statistics showed incidence rates have increased by 12% over the past 10 years.

In Scotland, around 790 people each year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with mortality rates rising by 6% since 2006.

Around 730 people are expected to die from the disease this year, 120 more than 10 years ago, the figures showed.

We need to be more ambitious and hit the disease hard and fast with new approaches

Professor Andrew Biankin, the charity’s pancreatic cancer research team leader, said: “Pancreatic cancer is an inherently aggressive disease and it’s often diagnosed late, which puts it a step ahead of us when we come to treat it.

“We need to be more ambitious and hit the disease hard and fast with new approaches. We need to diagnose these cancers swiftly so patients can get onto clinical trials which may help them.

“Increasing the amount of research taking place in the UK allows us to be much more optimistic about the future of beating this cancer.”

Cancer Research released the new figures as the charity unveiled its latest campaign.

A series of 30 second films and posters show the experience of patients going through treatment or being told test results in a bid to highlight the personal impact of cancer.

Cancer survivor Noreen Leighton, 58, from Stirling, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2011. She says that taking part in a Cancer Research UK trial during her treatment played a huge part in her survival.

Ms Leighton, an actress and author of the Mr Tilly children’s books, said: “Research saves lives and I’m testament to that.

“I’m so grateful to be here five years on from my cancer diagnosis and thankful to have been involved in the research trial that extended my life.

“Being told that I had pancreatic cancer was terrifying. More research into this type of cancer is absolutely vital so that more people can beat it like I did.”

Victoria Steven, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Scotland, said the charity hoped to inspire people in Scotland to help fight the disease, which is one of the hardest cancers to treat.

She said: “There are so many ways to get involved - from signing up for Race for Life to giving time to volunteer in our shops. The actions people take today will make a real dfference to men, women and children fighting cancer both now and in the future.

“To ensure we make a real difference in hard-to-treat cancers we only fund the best research, as determined by international experts, so it’s a credit to the excellence of our growing team of scientists that we’ve been able to increase our activity in these areas this significantly.”



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