Press Releases


Published date : 11 January, 2022

11/01/21 - For Immediate Release 



Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, is backing the first Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day to highlight the critical importance of early diagnosis in improving survival and quality of life for people diagnosed with these cancers.  

The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT) represents six less survivable cancers - lung, liver, brain, oesophageal, pancreatic and stomach - which have an average five-year survival rate of just 16%. Together, these less survivable cancers make up nearly half of all common cancer deaths in the UK.

Less survivable cancers are difficult to diagnose. Screening programmes are limited or non- existent and most of the general public are unaware of common symptoms. Many patients with a less survivable cancer will only be diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital or an emergency GP referral after symptoms have become severe.


These late diagnoses account, in part, for the catastrophic prognoses for thousands of people each year as patients with cancers that are diagnosed in an emergency suffer significantly worse outcomes.


As well as a focus on symptom awareness ,the LSCT is calling for all UK governments to commit to increasing survival rates for less survivable cancers to 28% by 2029 by eliminating   avoidable delays in diagnosis and proactively investing in research and treatment options. 


Mr Wishart said:


 "I am pleased to speak out for people diagnosed with less survivable cancers and support the first Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day on the 11th of January.


"We know that early diagnosis is crucial and now is the time to work together and make a real difference in life chances for thousands of people across the country who are diagnosed with these cancers each year."


Anna Jewell, Chair of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce, added: 

“We are delighted that Mr Wishart is supporting the first Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day. 

“We know that delays in diagnosis lead to much poorer outcomes for patients with these rapidly-advancing cancers. We also know the trauma associated with receiving a diagnosis in an emergency setting for both patients and families. 

“These cancers are currently difficult or impossible to treat at later stages and the time from diagnosis to death is often brutally short compared to more survivable cancers. The situation is   critical and has been exacerbated by the Covid-19pandemic. The Taskforce is calling for a significant increase in research funding as well as a commitment to increasing resources for early diagnosis for less survivable cancers and I’d like to thank Mr Wishart for  supporting our calls and helping us to close the deadly cancer gap.” 

The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce is urging everyone to be aware of the symptoms of these deadly cancers and to seek medical help at the earliest opportunity if they recognise any of the signs. 

Typical symptoms will vary but red flags for less survivable cancers could include any of the following; indigestion, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, a loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, a persistent cough, unexplained tiredness, headaches or nausea. The key message is to seek medical help swiftly if you notice anything is unusual for you. 

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