The MLAs this week attended a reception at Stormont to help kick the month off, hearing first-hand about the need for people to be diagnosed earlier. Around 200 people in Northern Ireland are detected each year, with tragically only five per cent of patients living for five years or more after diagnosis.
Mrs Cochrane and Mr Lyttle met with local patients and their families, as well as surgeons, oncologists, nurses and representatives from Pancreatic Cancer UK.
“It was a pleasure to attend this event and learn more about the work of the charity, and the support and research it funds,” said Mrs Cochrane.
“Sadly, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer speaks for itself and it is clear there is a huge amount of work to be done to change that. There are many people within my constituency and further afield 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 UK during pancreatic cancer awareness month.”
“Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of all the 21 common cancers,” added Mr Lyttle.
“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.
“”It’s shocking the number of people in Northern Ireland living for five years after diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is just five per cent, and that figure has barely improved in the last 40 years. That’s why it’s so important we all find out more about it. I would urge local people to find out more about the disease and its symptoms today.”