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Delays to pancreatic cancer surgery

With today’s media report of a pancreatic cancer surgery patient having a life-saving operation repeatedly postponed due to the Covid pressures Ivan McMinn, Chairperson of Northern Ireland Pancreatic Cancer (NIPANC), called for immediate priority to be given to urgent cancer operations.

Speaking as someone whose own life had been saved by pancreatic cancer surgery in 2011, Ivan said:

“I well appreciate the importance of providing hospital care for seriously ill Covid patients and the impact that this virus is having directly and indirectly on hospital services.”
“However, it is crucial that priority is also given to pancreatic cancer and other cancer patients in need of life-saving surgery. I understand that there have been critical care cancer operations cancelled from 26 July onwards.”
“With the recovery levels for pancreatic cancer already the lowest of any on the major cancers, delaying or postponing urgent surgery is totally unacceptable”

Ivan McMinn called for those in the community who were still undecided about vaccination to think about the impact of their indecision on their friends and family. He said:

“The increase in Covid cases, mainly amongst the non-vaccinated is having a terrible knock on effect on many very sick people in our community, quite apart from the risk of spreading Covid itself to other elderly and venerable individuals.”
“It is up to each of us to play our part in helping the health service to cope and to keep our wards and theatres open to urgent cancer patients in their hour of need!”


Notes for editors

1. For more information on pancreatic cancer or other press queries related to NIPANC’s activities contact Brian Grzymek on 07810188233 or


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