Mum Rachel Butler is urging families to sign an e-petition to trigger a parliamentary debate about pancreatic cancer.

Rachel, who lives in Swindon with her family, including children Kieran 18, Niamh, 16 and Ryan, 15, are all behind the petition after losing her dad to pancreatic cancer last year. She believes politicians should be doing more to get funding for greater research into this type of cancer.

Rachel said: “My dad Pete Gillett was 66 when he died from pancreatic cancer 41 days after diagnosis.

“It’s important to raise awareness of this illness as the symptoms can be few or linked to many other minor illnesses so diagnosis is very difficult.

“If more people and GPs are aware of this cancer and know what to look for maybe it can be caught early enough for surgery or treatment. My dad’s cancer had already spread and he deteriorated very quickly.”

Rachel’s calling on people to sign the e-petition to the Department of Health which will trigger a back bench debate in Parliament.

The e-petition – “Provide more funding and awareness for pancreatic cancer to aid long overdue progress in earlier detection and, ultimately, improved survival rates” – has until April 8 to run.

It claims pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of UK cancer death with the worst survival rate but it receives only one per cent of the money spent on cancer research.

Over the last 40 years the survival rate has remained the same at three per cent.

Other cancers have seen significant improvements such as bowel cancer rising from 22 to 54 per cent; breast cancer from 56 to 84 per cent and prostate from 31 to 81 per cent.

In order to trigger the debate, the e-petition must attract 100,000 signatures. At time of writing it was just over 51,000.

For details, visit http://epetitions.