Henry Smith MP on Purple Alert to change the future for people affected by pancreatic cancer

Henry Smith MP has pledged to get on Purple Alert this November for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to help transform the lives of people affected by pancreatic cancer in Crawley.

At a Pancreatic Cancer UK drop-in event in Parliament, the Crawley MP heard that 93 per cent of people diagnosed will not survive five years or more, and that there has been very little improvement in survival since the early 1970s.

Henry said;

“Tragically, pancreatic cancer took the lives of 64 people in Crawley in the four years to 2014. It’s clear that much more work is needed to deliver the kind of change which we must see for people affected, and to achieve the improvements in survival so desperately needed.

“This year, 9,600 people in the UK will receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. I want to encourage everyone in Crawley to join me in getting on Purple Alert this November, to help change the future for everyone affected by the disease.”

The charity says that unless urgent action is taken now, pancreatic cancer will become the fourth biggest cancer killer by 2026.

This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Pancreatic Cancer UK is calling on people to Move It, Bake It, Quiz It, Game It, Style It or Wear It purple as part of its Purple Alert campaign.

The funds raised from these activities will help the charity offer vital support to patients and families, invest in crucial research to help see the breakthroughs needed urgently, and be a voice for everyone affected by the disease.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive at Pancreatic Cancer UK, added;

“We’re extremely grateful Henry Smith MP has shown his support by signing our Purple Alert pledge at our drop-in event and learning more about the numbers of people affected by pancreatic cancer in the NHS Crawley CCG area.

“Whilst significant improvements have been made in survival for many other cancers, with 50 per cent of all cancer patients now surviving for ten years or more, pancreatic cancer survival has seen little improvement, with just one per cent of patients living for ten years or more.

“That’s why we are calling on people in Crawley to join us in getting on Purple Alert this November, to help us raise more funds for research into the disease and provide vital support for people affected. People can join our campaign at www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/pcam


Notes to Editors:

About pancreatic cancer

  • Less than 7 per cent of people with pancreatic cancer will survive beyond 5 years in the UK.
  • Five year survival for pancreatic cancer has improved very little since the early 1970s.
  • One person dies of pancreatic cancer every hour. Around 8,800 people die every year of the disease in the UK.
  • 80 per cent of people with pancreatic cancer are not diagnosed until the cancer is at an advanced stage.
  • Surgery is the only treatment which could save lives, yet only eight per cent of people with pancreatic cancer have it.
  • Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival of all the 20 common cancers.
  • Around 9,600 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer per year in the UK. That’s 26 people every day.
  • Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
  • Pancreatic cancer research has historically been underfunded. The disease attracts just 1.9 per cent of the UK cancer research budget.

About Pancreatic Cancer UK

  • Pancreatic Cancer UK is taking on pancreatic cancer through research, support and campaigning to transform the future for people affected.
  • They provide expert, personalised support and information via the Support Line (freephone: 0808 801 0707) and through a range of publications.
  • They fund innovative research to find the breakthroughs that will change how we understand, diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer.
  • They campaign for change; for better care, treatment and research, and for pancreatic cancer to have the recognition it needs.