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We understand how important it is for early diagnosis that pharmacists and other primary care professionals have the resources and confidence they need to be able to recognise potential pancreatic cancer and refer to a GP or specialist. That involves knowing the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, who is at risk, and when to refer.
Pharmacists are well placed to review customers who are presenting with the symptoms of pancreatic cancer or whose use of prescribed or over the counter medications is increasing without being effective.
Equipping pharmacy teams with the tools and knowledge to identify pancreatic cancer symptoms could result in prompt referral to a GP and early diagnosis.
Furthermore, PCA supports the increasing role of the community pharmacist. We want to arm pharmacists with the tools they need to refer customers directly for diagnostics or advice, reaching those who may not present at their GPs.
With the future role of community pharmacies in the wider NHS being shaped by the new pharmacy contract, this is definitely the right time to take bold steps that will place them alongside GP and secondary care colleagues, fighting cancers like Pancreatic Cancer.
PCA has created pioneering resources to educate and inform pharmacists on the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Our e-learning module for pharmacists uses case studies and real-world scenarios to help recognise pharmacy customers who are at risk of pancreatic cancer.
We have also developed a pharmacy pack, containing awareness information for pharmacy teams and their customer base. Items in the pack include; symptoms posters for display, awareness materials, diagnostic guidance and access to our free e-learning module for pharmacists and their support staff.
We also offer ongoing support and communications from the team at PCA along with a regular HealthCare professionals’ newsletter.
Our “Pharmacy Aware” Campaign is one route to the provision of these resources to pharmacists across the whole of the UK. To date provided over 5,000 pharmacists with resources, but there is much more work to be done!
We work with a cohort of Pharmacy teams and organisations across the country to further our reach and develop our resources.