Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. A chance for me to raise the awareness again when sadly like any other day an estimated 985 people across the globe will die from pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers. Two years ago I led a parliamentary debate on pancreatic cancer following an e-petition from an inspirational local woman, Maggie Watts. Maggie’s husband Kevin lost his mother to pancreatic cancer in 1969. Forty years later, he was diagnosed with the same disease in 2009 at the age of 48. Shockingly there had been little change in the survival rates in 40 years.
The cause of most pancreatic cancers is unknown and symptoms are usually subtle, often attributed to less serious medical conditions. Just 2-10 percent of those diagnosed survive five years. This is why early detection is vital. Patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years and beyond.
There are five things that are helpful to know
- The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine. It works to help the body use and store energy from food by producing hormones to control blood sugar levels and digestive enzymes to break down food.
- Pancreatic cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control, forming a mass of tissue called a tumor.
- Early diagnosis is key: patients who are diagnosed in time for surgery have a much higher likelihood of surviving five years.
- Symptoms – including abdominal or back pain, weight loss, jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, changes in stool, and diabetes – are often subtle and are generally initially attributed to other less serious and more common conditions.
- The cause of the majority of pancreatic cancer cases is unknown. For the few known risk factors (e.g., familial history, smoking, obesity, age), more research is needed to understand their direct relationship to the disease.
Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. A chance for me to raise the awareness again when sadly like any other day an estimated 985 people across the globe will die...
With winter on the way, Nic Dakin, Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, has today called on his constituents to ensure they are taking advantage of free help and support with energy bills.
Nic Dakin MP said: “It’s really important to be prepared for winter. I want everyone in Scunthorpe to understand what help is available for them, and for their family and friends. Being energy efficient and keeping bills under control is really important, so I’d encourage people to get in touch with their energy supplier to find out what support is on offer.”
“There are a number of simple steps that every constituent should take to make sure they’re doing all they can to keep their bills down and their home warm.”
Sarwjit Sambhi, Managing Director of UK Home at British Gas, said: “Winter can be a challenging time for households and many people may be concerned about their winter energy bill. Help is available and we urge customers to get in touch so we can offer them advice and support.
Get the best deal
Make sure you are on the best gas and electricity tariff for you. British Gas tells customers in every bill if they have a better tariff for them, allows customers to switch between its tariffs without paying a penalty charge and offers flexible payment plans which enable customers to set and manage their own payments. Anyone worried about their energy bill can call British Gas on 0800 048 0202 to discuss the help available.
Get a smart meter
Your energy supplier will be able to install a smart meter, which means an end to estimated bills. A smart energy monitor shows how much energy you are using, and what you are spending. British Gas customers are provided with online tools to help them manage their energy usage. Find out more by visiting www.britishgas.co.uk/smartmeters
Extra support for vulnerable customers
Constituents may be entitled to extra support from the Government and their energy supplier if they meet certain criteria. Last year more than 700,000 British Gas customers in the UK received the Warm Home Discount - a one off discount of £140 on the electricity bill. The company has the broadest eligibility criteria of all energy suppliers. British Gas customers should call 0800 072 8625.
The British Gas Energy Trust
The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable trust that offers advice and support for people who are struggling with their household bills. Since it was established in 2004, British Gas has provided £85million of funding to the Trust which has helped more than 176,000 people with debt advice and grants. For more information on the British Gas Energy Trust, visit: www.britishgasenergytrust.org.uk.
Keep your home warm, working and safe
Your gas appliances should be checked for safety every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. These important checks can detect a range of problems from boiler faults to gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information on booker checks, visit: www.britishgas.co.uk/homecare
With winter on the way, Nic Dakin, Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, has today called on his constituents to ensure they are taking advantage of free help and support with...
My colleague Margaret Greenwood, MP for Wirral West, is set to present the NHS Bill to Parliament for its Second Reading this Friday, 4th November. The Bill aims to put a stop to the privatisation of the NHS. It would also remove the costly and inefficient internal market and tackle PFI debt.
I am very pleased to be a co-sponsor of this Bill.
My colleague Margaret Greenwood, MP for Wirral West, is set to present the NHS Bill to Parliament for its Second Reading this Friday, 4th November. The Bill aims to put... Read more
Nic Dakin MP has joined with the members of the retail union Usdaw to call for an end to abuse in the workplace. As part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff, Usdaw members are highlighting the problems faced by staff during Respect for Shopworkers Week, which runs from 14 to 20 November.
Nic Dakin – Labour MP for Scunthorpe says: "Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse whilst serving the public. It is really important we stand together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers, especially as we approach the busy Christmas shopping period.
"I was personally shocked to hear about the abuse that shopworkers can receive on what can be a daily basis. No one should have to go to work expecting abuse.
"I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shopworkers the support they need and deserve. We must give a clear message that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable."
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "We are grateful to Nic for supporting our campaign to keep our members safe at work.
"Often, in the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to deal with tense and difficult situations. Unfortunately these can escalate to verbal abuse and assault. Over 300 shopworkers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough. Parliament has placed the legal obligation on shopworkers to enforce the law in relation to age restricted sales and Parliament must also ensure that the law also protects shopworkers who are doing their job. Politicians and members of the public must work together to ensure that shopworkers get the respect they deserve."
Nic Dakin MP has joined with the members of the retail union Usdaw to call for an end to abuse in the workplace. As part of the Freedom From...
After hearing of cases from my constituents and from information provided by the Money and Mental Health Institute, it is apparent that up to a third of people with mental health issues and are in debt, who request medical proof of their condition to prove to their creditors, are being charged up to £150 for a doctor’s note as proof.
This a disappointing practice which can have a profoundly negative impact on those with mental health issues. If you are in debt already then you probably won’t be able to afford this extortionate amount for a note. This payment could worsen conditions as a result of the stress.
This is why I am promoting the #StoptheCharge campaign. If you wish to get involved to help stop this practice of charging for these doctors’ notes when needing them as proof to a creditor, then you can visit the Money and Mental Health Institute’s website at http://www.moneyandmentalhealth.org/stopthecharge/
If you fill in your details your name will be added to a letter which will be sent to the Health Minister.
I also wanted to provide some information and websites which could help you if you are in the situation where you are struggling with mental health problems, and as a result are having money problems due to a lack of income.
Assistance with Your Mental Health
You can find advice on the Mind, Rethink or Mental Health Foundation websites, or at NHS Choices.
For 24-hour support you can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
You can download Martin Lewis’s free guide which provides guidance and useful resources on how to cope with these issues. Especially on how to deal with any financial problems you may be facing.
But, if you need more direct help with your finances, there a variety of free-to-use advice and support services with many advisers trained to help those with mental health problems. Citizen’s Advice, Stepchange, Christians Against Poverty and National Debtline can all help.
Mental Health Issues Can Qualify You For Disability-Related Benefits
Anyone with a disability, which can include mental health problems, may be entitled to some form of payment. You can quickly check this through www.moneysavingexpert.com/benefits
Anyone over 16 who has a diagnosed mental health problem may be entitled to a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This isn’t means-tested, so you can get it whether you work or not and it isn’t affected by savings or income.
The Form to Give to Your GP
This a form to download for your health care provider to use to tell your creditors about your mental health problems. It helps them to give clear and relevant evidence about how your mental health affects how you deal with money. It is quick to fill in and has been recognised by major UK creditor and advice membership organisations.
Once creditors have received this form, they often offer easier payment terms, cancel charges or interest, or may even write some debts off altogether.
After hearing of cases from my constituents and from information provided by the Money and Mental Health Institute, it is apparent that up to a third of people with mental...