PCA continue early diagnosis research during coronavirus

Pancreatic Cancer Action

A diagnosis in time for surgery is the best chance of surviving and as others pause their research or focus on coronavirus, we will continue our early diagnosis work. We are joining forces with a research team from the University of Surrey to help increase early diagnosis in pancreatic cancer.

In partnership with the University of Surrey, this project will look at the patient records of people with diabetes who went onto get pancreatic cancer and those who did not. The aim is to find out as much as possible about the differences in diabetes caused by pancreatic cancer and those cases that are not.


Early diagnosis saves lives and our work has a direct impact on diagnosing people sooner. Pancreatic Cancer Action are reliant on the generosity of our supporters to fund our vital work, thank you so much for offering your support in this time of crisis.

We know from research evidence that people with diabetes have an increased chance of getting pancreatic cancer. We also know that diabetes can be a symptom of the disease. However, the majority of people with diabetes do not have pancreatic cancer or go onto get it.

Agz Lemanska, the lead researcher for the project, explained that pancreatic cancer is a relatively rare condition that does not always show symptoms in the early stages. However, many people with pancreatic cancer were diagnosed with diabetes before showing any other symptoms of the disease.

It is difficult for GPs to suspect or recognise pancreatic cancer. We want to contribute to the identification of risk factors and symptoms that when considered together could bring earlier diagnosis in pancreatic cancer.”

Results of the research could identify a group of patients with new onset diabetes that are at risk of pancreatic cancer. Patients diagnosed with diabetes who went onto develop pancreatic cancer are likely to have risk factors in common or may have presented to their GP with other symptoms that are could indicate pancreatic cancer.

This may help GPs know when to refer a patient with diabetes for pancreatic cancer testing and increase early diagnosis in these groups.