Pancreatic Cancer Action’s Inequalities Position Statement

At Pancreatic Cancer Action, our vision is a day that everyone survives pancreatic cancer. We want to make the 2020’s the decade of change for the disease and increase the survival rate more over the next 10 years than it has increased over the past 40 years. Recent events, including the murder of George Floyd and subsequent actions of the Black Lives Matter movement have prompted many individuals and organisations to reflect, Pancreatic Cancer Action included.

For years society has known about the impacts of inequality on health. We have seen that early diagnosis of cancer and disease outcomes follow the socioeconomic gradient and we know that this disproportionately affects black and minority ethnic people. We have first-hand evidence from these patients that access to referral is harder, information provision is worse and support services are offered less frequently.

The Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on black and minority ethnic communities and associated excess deaths, has once again demonstrated the effect of structural inequality and racism in our society. At Pancreatic Cancer Action we recognise that we work within an unequal system and we have not done enough within our organisation or using our influence outside of it. We cannot advocate for everyone with pancreatic cancer if we do not represent everyone with the disease. We cannot envisage a day where everyone survives pancreatic cancer unless we address inequality at every level.

In light of this, we have been reviewing our role as an organisation and are making changes to the way Pancreatic Cancer Action approaches equality and diversity. We are committed to being anti-racist at every level and representing all pancreatic cancer patients in our work.

  • We are planning on exploring how we can reach more people than ever before. We will investigate who we reach as a charity and conduct work to engage with black and ethnic minority individuals, communities and organisations with awareness and messaging.
  • We will carry out specific projects to research barriers to presentation and work in community spaces to promote early diagnosis and reduce the stigma around pancreatic cancer.
  • We will campaign and use our voice and platforms to highlight inequalities within and around pancreatic cancer. Addressing inequalities in diagnosis, treatment and care will become a key part of our policy strategy and we will work to highlight these problems and potential solutions wherever possible.
  • We will review our internal policies and promote a greater diversity across our staff and volunteers. Pancreatic Cancer Action is a predominantly white organisation within a predominantly white charity sector. We will work to draw on a broader range of voices to inform everything we do.
  • We will amplify voices and invest in the research of black and ethnic minority researchers as well as projects with a focus on diversity in recruitment, analysis and reporting.

We know that this is just the beginning and we have a lot of work to do. We welcome feedback and collaboration on the best ways to be an anti-racist organisation and how best to tackle inequalities, wherever they are found.

We will actively monitor our progress towards meeting these goals and making the 2020s the decade of change for everyone with pancreatic