Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day 2022

11th January 2022

Guts UK is a founding charity member of the Less Survivable Taskforce (LSCT). The LSCT was set up by a group of charities all aiming to double survival rates of the 6 less survivable cancers by 2029. These are stomach, oesophageal, pancreatic, liver, brain & lung cancer.

The less survivable cancers have been neglected and underfunded for decades.

The 11th January 2022 is the first ever Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day. The average five-year survival rate for these 6 cancers stands at just 16%. We want to highlight the symptoms, late diagnoses and neglect of these cancers.

No one’s cancer diagnosis should be at an emergency setting, like A&E:

NHS data from 2021 shows that these 6 cancers are far more likely to be diagnosed in emergency settings, such as A&E, when the cancers tend to be at a later, more advanced stage. Diagnosing these cancers as early as possible is crucial for increasing survival rates.

While 2.7% of breast cancer cases and 7.8% of prostate cancer cases were diagnosed in an emergency setting, the figures were far higher for the Less Survivable Cancers. 30.2% of stomach cancer cases were diagnosed as an emergency, rising even higher to 53% for pancreatic cancer.

Kay’s Story:

As told by her daughter, Hayley.

“Mum had just had a hip replacement so she was trying to exercise more and build strength. One day she did tell me her wee was dark, but we thought little of it, as she was still recovering from her operation.

A few weeks later mum was admitted to hospital with deep vein thrombosis. They ended up testing her liver as she started looking yellow (jaundice), and they found liver cancer.

We had all expected upsetting news, but we didn’t expect to be told mum’s cancer was terminal and she had a month to live. Mum died just 5 days later at 64 years old, surrounded by the whole family. She was chatting away and making us all laugh, right until the end.” Read Kay’s full story here.

In 2021, 45% of liver cancer cases are diagnosed at emergency presentation, like A&E. These late diagnoses often mean the cancer is more advanced, harder to treat and therefore survival rates are lower.

Research into the deadliest digestive cancers is a priority for Guts UK. We're funding research aiming to diagnose these cancers earlier, giving people a fighting chance. Please join us by giving £3 a month to Guts UK.

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