More than half of GPs dismissed patients showing symptoms of pancreatic cancer, telling them they were "nothing to worry about", claims a survey.
Research by Pancreatic Cancer Action also found 46% of patients suffering with the disease initially ignored their own symptoms and nearly half of patients hadn't heard of pancreatic cancer before their own diagnosis.
"Despite the grim statistics, many more people can survive pancreatic cancer but in order to do so they need to be diagnosed in time for surgery – currently the only potential for a cure," said Ali Stunt, founder of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity.
"Those who are diagnosed in time have a chance of living beyond five years that is ten times greater than the overall average for the disease."
Currently, 90% of people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed too late for surgery, with the average life expectancy on diagnosis ranging from three to six months.