November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know pancreatic cancer is the UK’s 5th most common cause of cancer death and can affect literally anyone, but disease outcomes can vary according to socioeconomic background, ethnicity and age.1

Here are some key facts about pancreatic cancer1:

• More than 9,000 people die of pancreatic cancer in the UK every year, often within weeks of diagnosis.

• The 5-year survival is under 8%, and UK survival lags behind other wealthy countries.

• Public awareness across the UK is low:  52% of people know ‘almost nothing’ about pancreatic cancer, and 76% can’t name a single symptom.

Although these statistics represent a pessimistic picture of the disease, pancreatic cancer can be survived with early diagnosis. Timely identification could mean patients are eligible for potentially life-saving surgery- meaning that there 5-year survival increases to around 30%.1 So if  people can be diagnosed earlier, they may live longer and with a better quality of life.

With this in mind, there is still much more that can be done; the need to improve pancreatic cancer diagnosis and outcomes is urgent. November is ‘Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month’ and it is in its tenth year!  Back in 2011, the 5-year pancreatic cancer survival rate was just 3%. Fast forward to 2021 and that statistic has increased to nearly 8%.1 Raising awareness of the symptoms is therefore the first step to earlier diagnosis and treatment. There are many ways to get involved. To learn more visit https://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise/join-an-event/ 

Reference
1. Action, P., 2021. Pancreatic Cancer Action | Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month | TIP. [online] Pancreatic Cancer Action. Available at: <https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/> [Accessed 1 November 2021].