Pancreatic Cancer Action at The National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative conference

Fourth Biennial Early Diagnosis Research Conference 23-24 February 2017

Today we are at The National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI) conference, which is led by Cancer Research UK. The conference brings together researchers, clinicians, patients and policy makers to share and discuss the latest research findings, their impact on policy, and implications for the future of earlier cancer diagnosis.

When cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment options and chances of a full recovery are greater.

The aim of NAEDI is to promote earlier diagnosis of cancer, increasing access to optimal treatment and thereby improving survival rates and reducing cancer mortality through a variety of means.

This conference provided an opportunity for Pancreatic Cancer Action to hear key individuals and organisations theories and research into early diagnosis. Essentially it also provided a chance for networking and exploring new avenues for collaboration and research funding available.

The broad focus of the conference reflected  the interdisciplinary effort required to improve cancer diagnosis in the UK. CEO of Cancer Research UK, Sir Harpal S Kumar, explains further:

The Cancer Research UK Early Diagnosis Research Conference is a unique opportunity to bring together our multidisciplinary community, ensuring we continue to investigate, innovate and implement research required to achieve our ambition.

Key Points taken from the conference:

The UK is behind the rest of the world in diagnostic performance. Why?

  • Not enough equipment or enough staff
  • Although referrals are improving, waiting times for diagnostic tests are not. CEO of CRUK says this is the critical issue if we are to address cancer survival rates in the UK.
  • It is not only crucial to improve the time a patient has to wait for a diagnostic test but also the time it takes ot get the results back to the patient.

What is being done/can be done?

  • CRUK are making recommendations on how to improve efficiency and increasing investment in diagnostic services, recruiting and training more staff.  
  • Looking for a new path for patients that may not necessarily have clear symptoms. For example multi-disciplinary centres (like in Denmark) to improve diagnosis of cancers with less obvious symptoms – like pancreatic cancer. take a look at The ACE Programme for more information. 

At Pancreatic Cancer Action, we believe the early diagnosis is key to saving lives and improving survival rates.   By prompting, coordinating and supporting early diagnosis activity,  we aim to make a difference to the lives of thousands of people affected by pancreatic cancer each year.

Over 30% of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed with the earliest stage of disease survive at least five years compared with less than 5% of those diagnosed with the most advanced stage disease.

To find out more about NAEDI, visit: www.naedi.org.uk