Pancreatic cancer is the least survivable and the quickest killing cancer in the UK, which is why I was really glad to recently secure the first debate in the National Assembly on the cruel disease and to follow up with a question to the First Minister urging him to reduce waiting times.

The statistics of pancreatic cancer make for grim reading. Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the UK, but receives just one per cent of research funding. Due to late diagnosis, seven out of 10 people with pancreatic cancer will never receive any treatment, and only one in 10 will receive surgery, which is the only curative solution.

Fewer than six per cent of those affected in Wales will survive for longer than five years. In the shadow of these numbers are real people, real stories and very real suffering. One of them is Cwmbran resident Linda Reardon who has lost her cousin, uncle and mother to the disease.

Linda pays tribute to the care given by nurses to her mum when she came home for the last three weeks of her life but Linda is still angry. She is angry her mother heard her diagnosis alone, angry they were not told about medical trials that might have been suitable and angry no-one thought during the crucial months of diagnosis of the possibility of a family connection. But most of all she is angry that she hears the same stories today.

I have come to know Linda well and I am pleased to say she has turned that anger into a campaigning zeal that would put any politician in the shade. I am glad to have been able to support her by sponsoring an annual awareness raising event for Assembly Members and this year by holding the debate, too.

I must also pay tribute to Nick and Wendy Horler, who light up Blaenavon post office in purple lights every year to mark Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November.

Following the debate, I was contacted by a lady who had just had a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer but had been told she would have to wait two months for surgery. I raised her case with the First Minister and was glad to hear in response Welsh Government has now made a commitment to consider the introduction of a rapid access model to treat pancreatic cancer.

Since then I have kept up pressure on Welsh Government to ensure we get faster treatment times and earlier diagnosis in Wales to help transform the survival rates of pancreatic cancer. For sufferers of pancreatic cancer, time is always of the essence.