Read more about what 'intention to merge' means, why the two charities are hoping to merge and how you can Take Action with us!
PCA intention to merge with Pancreatic Cancer Scotland!
This year both charities mark our 10th anniversary. Our shared vision, to make the 2020’s the decade of change for Pancreatic Cancer, is bold and ambitious, driven by a need to improve survival rates for the world’s toughest cancer.
The proposal to merge, brings together two organisations, managed by two women, each of whom have their own personal story and connection to pancreatic cancer.
Ali Stunt, founder and CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA), is a 12-year survivor of pancreatic cancer. Glasgow-based Fiona Brown, Development Manager of Pancreatic Cancer Scotland (PCS), lost her mum at age 56 in 2003 to the disease.
Both organisations were founded in 2010 out of a need for a pancreatic cancer charity focusing on improving symptom awareness, early diagnosis and patient care in Scotland and the UK.
Helped by a wide community of passionate supporters, the charities have grown organically enabling them to make huge strides in advancing support, healthcare, awareness, research and education.
Almost 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the UK. The pancreatic cancer survival rate is the lowest of all the major cancers and although 5-year survival has increased from 3% to 7% over the past decade, there is still much work to be done.
While death rates are declining for many other cancers they are increasing for pancreatic cancer and the disease is predicted to overtake breast cancer as the fourth largest cancer killer in the UK. This is largely due to late diagnosis.
Currently, only around 10-20% of pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed at an early stage and in time for potentially curative surgery. However, if surgery is an option then it increases the patients 5-year survival from under 7% to around 30%.
Taking urgent action
Addressing the urgent need to take more action, the intended merger of PCS and PCA will enable considerable progress and impact towards making the 2020’s the decade of change for pancreatic cancer.
Fiona explained: “Since sadly losing my mum to pancreatic cancer in 2003, I have seen too many hearts broken and families devastated by this awful disease, that has been left in the dark for too long. However, I have met many inspirational survivors, like Ali, and it’s clear that we can all do more to help ensure we all arrive at the day where we all know more survivors”.
Ali Stunt says: “My ambition remains the same, as it did 10 years ago, that more people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer sooner, in time for surgery to be possible. This is what happened to me, but it was more a matter of luck and circumstance that afforded me the early diagnosis and, once understanding the statistics of this disease, I discovered that chance isn’t something one can rely on to get diagnosed early.”
“By coming together, both charities know we can make greater strides in making our vision, a day when everyone is diagnosed early and survives pancreatic cancer, a reality.”
Ali goes on to say: “The pancreatic cancer charity world is very fragmented; this merger will reduce any potential duplication of effort and resources and means we can make a bigger impact”.
The two charities will continue initially as separate entities, however, will eventually merge into one organisation, subject to approval from OSCR (Office of The Scottish Charity Regulator).
It is anticipated that Ali Stunt, will be The Chief Executive Officer of the merged organisation, with Fiona Brown managing the Scotland office.
“The intention to merge will strengthen and grow our combined activities, enabling us to add more value, take more action and drive positive change: by coming together the 2020’s will be the decade of change for pancreatic cancer”.