New Forest East

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE – PANCREATIC CANCER (3) [18429] - 15 February 2020

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE – PANCREATIC CANCER (3) [18429] - 15 February 2020

Dr Julian Lewis:   To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to (a) increase investment in research into pancreatic cancer, (b) establish a dedicated awareness campaign to enable the earlier identification of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and (c) improve consistency in the application of treatment and care standards for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  [18429]

[Due for Answer on 2 March.]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care (Jo Churchill): 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) 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.