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Charity praises hospital for leading the way in fight against pancreatic cancer
Hospitals across the UK are being urged to follow the example of Southampton General Hospital, which provides a specialist clinic that speeds up access to potentially life-saving treatment.
The call to action comes as Pancreatic Cancer UK research reveals that more patients would survive a year or more longer if diagnosis of the disease was made before they reached the emergency department. And Southampton General Hospital has been praised by the charity for helping to reduce diagnosis via emergency admission thanks to its Rapid Access Clinic for jaundiced patients.
In their report, Every Life Matters, the charity shows that if pancreatic cancer diagnoses as a result of emergency presentation were slashed by 25 per cent, as many as 150 additional patients would survive for a year or longer.
It comes as pancreatic cancer features in a storyline in Coronation Street, with soap favourite Hayley Cropper battling the disease.
Even a modest reduction of ten per cent, with the patients being diagnosed via the Two Week Wait, where patients suspected of having cancer are seen by a specialist within a fortnight of referral by their GP, an extra 50 patients would enjoy longer lives.
More than half of all pancreatic cancer diagnoses in England are made as a result of an emergency presentation, double the average rate of all other cancers, resulting in poorer survival rates.
But the charity believes clinics like the one available in Southampton give patients faster access to specialist treatment and are calling on the Government to ensure more clinics are set up, saving both patients’ lives and the NHS vital cash.
Colin Johnson, Southampton pancreatic cancer surgeon, said: “Emergency admissions are an increasing source of pressure on the NHS, and pancreatic cancer patients admitted this way usually end up under the care of the ‘wrong’ specialist. Unnecessary emergency admissions bring added cost in relation to bed days and play havoc with planned elective activity.”
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