Today, the life expectancy and quality of life for many bowel cancer patients is far greater than it was just 10 years ago. Eighty percent of cases can be successfully treated if diagnosed in time, often by surgery.
Today, Bill Heald’s TME (Total Mesorectal Excision) technique is accepted as the world’s ‘gold standard’ in lower bowel surgery. As a result of this surgery and Pelican’s national MDT-TME training programme, more than 3,000 additional people survive their bowel cancer diagnosis each year in the UK alone. Many more people benefit in terms of retaining their urinary and sexual function after surgery.
In the UK, Pelican has delivered two of the six major training initiatives funded by the National Cancer Action Team in the past 10 years. Pelican has run over 200 different courses, covering many areas of colorectal and urological surgery. Pelican is currently one of the national training centres for laparoscopic colorectal surgery, and is running the pilot Low Rectal Cancer Management Programme (LOREC) aiming to improve rectal cancer care.
Since 2002, Pelican has invested over £2m in medical research for bowel, liver, bladder and prostate cancer. Our first major research project, MERCURY, assessed the role of MRI in accurately detecting and planning surgery for bowel cancer. Pelican has championed this use of MRI through its courses - and today it is recommended best practice for rectal cancer patients to have an MRI before surgery in the UK.
Since 2001, more than 8,000 clinicians have attended Pelican training courses and meetings. Pelican has hosted several crucial meetings for surgeons, including several Guidelines Meetings, contributing to setting a national standard for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
With your help, Pelican can continue to save and improve the lives of those with cancer well into the future.