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Health leaders urge public to support awareness of pancreatic cancer

World Pancreatic Cancer Day’s goal is to bring much-needed focus and attention to the disease, especially the need for increased symptom awareness and greater investment into research.

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK and has the lowest survival rate of any of the 21 common cancers – with fewer than four per cent of patients surviving five years or more.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is taking place throughout November.

It included lighting up of buildings and landmarks purple around the UK on 1 November to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer in local communities.

Local communities are also organising their own “Purple Lights” glow stick event to honour and remember those dealing with pancreatic cancer diagnosis or who have been lost to the disease.

Dr Mike Ions, Chief Clinical Officer at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Pancreatic cancer is a common disease, but relatively few people know about it. Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and World Cancer Awareness Day aim to change that. I hope people in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen will support local events, find out more and raise money to fund further research and support for people affected.”

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen, said: “The incidences of pancreatic cancer are rising; it is the 5th biggest cancer killer in the UK. With no available screening programme for pancreatic cancer, it is vital that people are educated and made aware of the possible symptoms of this disease”.

Further information on Pancreatic Cancer and events during the month can be found on the Pancreatic Cancer UK website: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk