"THEY'RE playing Russian roulette with my life," said Andy Luck, one of hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients in Scotland whose hopes for a new life-extending drug have been dashed by the SMC.

Mr Luck, a married paramedic from Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire, was finally diagnosed with the disease in November 2011 after paying £500 for a private CT scan which detected inflammation in his pancreas.

He had been suffering months of worsening digestive problems and back pain, but struggled to get a diagnosis on the NHS.

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So far, the 43-year-old, who is originally from Surrey, has beaten the odds - but he fears the SMC decision has robbed him of a lifeline.

"Originally they weren't going to operate because my tumour was too large and starting to invade the surrounding area. So we decided chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and in my case I was very lucky in that it shrunk the tumour and I had a 10-hour operation to remove the tumour from the pancreas, as well as the majority of the pancreas, part of my intestines and my gall bladder.

"For four months I was cancer-free, but then it started coming back. That's the problem with pancreatic cancer - it's difficult to eradicate."

Although a renewed round of chemotherapy is working, he knows it will fail eventually.

"I know that stage will come where I get a CT scan and it'll be starting to advance again. One of the drugs then could have been abraxane, and I don't have that option now. Perhaps it's going to be resubmitted, but people like me don't have the luxury of that time."