Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
This November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Possibly the only time you may have heard about this disease will have been when Patrick Swayze succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2009. The disease is often a silent killer and that is why more people need to know the signs and symptoms.
Well it must be pretty rare, I hear you say, but in fact pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. So now that you know that then you would imagine that of the funds raised for cancer research every year quite a bit must be going to researching the condition. Well in fact, 1% of research funding is spent on pancreatic cancer. Those supporting education into this disease feel that this is a shockingly low amount and with its status as the fifth most common cancer in the UK, I think we would all tend to agree with them.
So what kinds of signs and symptoms are there? Well over half of patients already have jaundice when they first visit their doctor –if you are suffering from jaundice you will have yellow skin and yellowness in the area around the pupils of the eyes. Another symptom may be the fact that you are driven mad with a lot of itching or even a fever, you might even feel pain in your stomach and notice that despite not changing your diet, you are losing weight.
Not many of us lay-people will have heard of neuroendocrine tumours. That is because they are an uncommon group of tumours that produce different symptoms. But it is not all bad news. Some progress is starting to be made in the form of a drug called 'Sutent' that has been approved for the treatment of these neuroendocrine tumours.
Maybe you know someone who has been affected by pancreatic cancer or maybe you have been unfortunate enough to have the disease yourself. Maybe you just want to make a difference and need to know how you can help to improve survival and get more information on pancreatic cancer.
The pancreatic cancer awareness people have stories of inspiration for us too. In 2010 Paige Bishop lost her dad when doctors failed to pick up on the signs of his condition and did not make the diagnosis in time for treatment to be of any use. So with the help of those she loved, she organised a golf event and around 130 people attended. There was a raffle, donated gifts and over three thousand pounds was raised for Pancreatic Cancer Action.
And if you have been inspired by what Paige has done or if you have someone in your life that you would like to go the extra mile for, then why not organise your own Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month event? It could be sports-related or be about almost anything that you can think of! It's up to you, your imagination and what you want to do. Maybe you could get a group of friends or workmates together and run notions past each other until you find a great wining idea.
There is also the chance to fundraise online. All the links are on the website.
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