Posted on 07 April 2017.
According to a national awareness survey commissioned by Pancreatic Cancer Action, only 5% of people claim to know about the disease. Yet, across the nation 9,600 men and women will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 8,800 will die of the disease this year. In Yorkshire and Humberside, 795 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of that number, only 40 survived.
It is the UK’s fifth worst cause of cancer death, with a survival rate of just 5% – the worst of the 22 most common cancers. Despite these stats, pancreatic cancer remains largely unheard of and research into the disease is chronically underfunded.
Pancreatic Cancer Action was founded by Ali Stunt, who is a rare survivor of the disease. Its main objective is to raise awareness with the public, the medical community and the government in order to improve early diagnosis.
“Despite the increasingly high rate of pancreatic cancer in the UK”, said Ali, “our new research highlights a fundamental lack of awareness of the telltale signs of the disease. Survival rates remain at a standstill, with less than 1% of sufferers being given a prognosis for a ten-year life expectancy. Given that there is currently no screening process available, it is imperative that people can spot the signs and symptoms early enough to make surgery a viable option and improve survival rates.”
Symptoms include (but are not limited to) jaundice, weight loss, new onset diabetes and severe abdominal or back pain. Most people with these symptoms will not have pancreatic cancer, but anyone with one or more of them should see their GP. For more information on symptoms visit pancreaticcanceraware.org.
About Pancreatic Cancer Action
Pancreatic Cancer Action’s aim is to change pancreatic cancer survival numbers and improve early detection statistics. It is focused on raising awareness of pancreatic cancer with the public, the medical community and Government, providing education and training on pancreatic cancer to medical professionals and funding research specifically into improving early diagnosis.
Founded by Ali Stunt, who is herself a survivor of the disease. Pancreatic Cancer Action has the support of many leading clinicians and researchers in the pancreatic cancer arena along with others whose lives have been touched by pancreatic cancer in some way.
Further information about pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is currently very difficult to diagnose. Upon diagnosis, most sufferers find they have untreatable terminal cancer with an average life expectancy of between three to six months. Surgery is currently the only cure but only 10% are diagnosed in time for this to be an option.
Classic symptoms for pancreatic cancer include painless jaundice, significant weight loss, new onset diabetes not associated with weight gain and significant abdominal pain and/or back pain.