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Charity bid to boost early cancer diagnosis

20 May 2015 11:18

Grants are available for scientists to find new ways to detect pancreatic cancer earlier

Grants are available for scientists to find new ways to detect pancreatic cancer earlier

A charity has launched an award to encourage scientists to find new ways to detect cases of pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage.

The Early Diagnosis Challenge Award is a key part of Pancreatic Cancer Action's five-year plan towards improving early diagnosis. It urges pioneering researchers to develop new ways of doing this. It is hoped the new award will provide further incentive.

Charity chief executive Ali Stunt says Britain needs more scientists to specialise in pancreatic cancer research.

Research grants will be offered to projects with the potential to help patients to find out whether they have the disease when surgery - the only cure - is still an option. Patients who want or need to travel overseas should arrange specialist cancer travel insurance.

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest rate of survival among the 21 most-common forms of the disease in the UK. Ali herself had the disease, and she says it is ' vital' to have the most talented scientists studying it.

She said research into pancreatic cancer is "extremely underfunded", accounting for just 1% of cancer research funding in the UK. The more research that is put into the disease the more likely people can be diagnosed early and doctors can make a difference to their lives, Ali says.