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Bucks cancer patient campaigning for Pancreatic Cancer UK

Erika didn't receive treatment for two months.

Published by Mix96 News at 5:38am 28th November 2018. (Updated at 6:02am 28th November 2018) 4-minute read.

Bucks cancer patient campaigning for Pancreatic Cancer UK

A Bucks terminal cancer patient is fronting a campaign for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Erika from Chartridge, near Chesham, didn't receive treatment for two months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in March. 

She was given just four months to live.

She was shocked to discover that surgery was the only potential cure but given her disease had advanced to Stage 4 by the time Erika eventually received treatment two months later, she had developed jaundice and her cancer had spread, significantly reducing her life expectancy.

Erika pancreatic cancer uk campaign
Erika is the face of Pancreatic Cancer UK's campaign

She said:

"Poor communication and a complete lack of urgency left me and my husband in despair as to whether I actually would receive any treatment before I died.

"I felt like I was written off and I had to fight to get treatment.

"My treatment was delayed by many things including my referrals to an oncologist being lost twice, people going on holiday and even my cancer treatment being marked as 'routine' rather than 'priority'.

"When you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer you are treated like a dead person walking. I felt like I was written off and I had to fight to get treatment. 

"This isn't fair and it wouldn't happen with any other cancer. This has to change".

Erika is now undergoing chemotherapy and helping with the campaign.

Despite the chemo, Erika is thrilled that her hair is growing back!

It's calling for all pancreatic cancer patients to be treated within 20 days by 2024 to ensue no one else has to go through the same 'nightmare' that she and her family have had to endure.

The number of tests required, the wait for results, and the need to consult doctors from multiple specialisms due to the complexity of pancreatic cancer are major causes of delays in treating the disease when there is no time to waste. 

More than 36,000 people have already signed Pancreatic Cancer UK's petition urging the government to set an ambition to treat everyone with pancreatic cancer within 20 days of diagnosis. You can sign it here.

They're campaigning across the UK to gain support

It would be similar to the ones already in place for more well-known cancers like breast and prostrate.

It would include establishing one-stop clinics where patients can have all tests to determine their suitability for surgery in one place. Clinical nurse specialists would be recruited to coordinate with other NHS services addition to supporting patients.


Erika pancreatic cancer uk campaign
Erika thinks that every patient should have the chance at a good quality of life.


Pancreatic Cancer UK's new report reveals that pancreatic cancer patients who have surgery are ten times more likely to live for five years or more than patients who do not. However, at least 90 per cent of all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer do not have surgery.

Nearly two thirds of patients in England whose pancreatic cancer is identified at an early stage do not have surgery despite the fact that a significant proportion should be able to have the operation.

If you've been affected by this story or are worried about symptoms, you can call Pancreatic Cancer UK's Support Line on 080 801 0707 10am-4pm.

There's more information on what to look out for on Pancreatic Cancer UK's website. 

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