Survival rates in NSW boosted

Monday, June 17, 2019
Pancreatic specialist Associate Professor Jaswinder Samra

For the first time, NSW survival rates from Pancreatic Cancer have hit double digits. In a new report released by the Cancer Institute NSW, the statistics reveal a boost to 12% for survival beyond five years.

This is dramatic in comparison to the mere 5% improvement witnessed over the last three decades in Australia from 1985 to 2014. Brighter patient outcomes are thanks to increased funding and research into diagnosis and treatments for the disease.

Professor Jaswinder Samra, a Pancreatic Surgeon from North Shore Private Hospital, says gradual improvements are the result of investment in medical research and better clinical practice. “We are making small steps and they are adding up slowly. This latest news supports this, and with the support of charities around the country investing in research and government support, the management and care of patients with Pancreatic Cancer has been enhanced,” said Professor Samra. “There are newer chemotherapy regimes, radiation techniques, improved surgical selection based on expert radiology services and the use of PET scanning.” According to the report, more people are having surgery for Pancreatic Cancer as a proportion of those affected.

The report also recommends that people who need pancreatic surgery have it done at hospital that performs the procedure often, based on evidence of better outcomes. While the improvement in prognosis is encouraging, we still have a long way to go. Pancreatic Cancer still remains the cancer with the lowest survival rate in Australia and despite these encouraging statistics, there is still a lot of work to do.

As always, the Avner Foundation thanks all of its donors and volunteers for their continued support. Your help is crucial as we endeavour to make survival possible.

Read a news article on the SMH website

See a video interview with Professor Jaswinder Samra