Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is a public health and awareness campaign for raising awareness of the deadly disease. It also raises understanding about the illness which is among the less common forms of cancer. There are approximately 280,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer every year worldwide. However, in the United Kingdom, it is the seventh biggest cancer killer. The problem is that most people still don’t know enough about it. This is mostly because of the fact that it barely gets attention from the medical community.
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is for bringing into focus one of the deadliest forms of cancer. It is commonly considered too difficult to deal with which is reflective in the terrible survival rates of 3% to 6%. The survival rate has not improved in more than 40 years and this is one of the major problems the public health and awareness campaign aims to change.
The pancreas is a gland located in the abdomen. It is about 6 inches in length, shaped like a flat pear surrounded by the stomach, liver, small intestine, spleen and gallbladder. Pancreatic cancer starts when there are abnormal cells in the pancreas that grow out of control forming a tumour. The symptoms of this type of cancer are usually vague and similar to symptoms of other conditions. This makes it difficult to diagnose early which greatly affects survival rates since early diagnosis is necessary for surgery which is currently the only potential for a cure.
Purpose of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
The main goal of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is to raise the general public’s awareness of the deadly form of cancer. It also aims to improve the survival rate of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The public health and awareness campaign aims to educate the public about the disease in general including its signs and symptoms, risk factors of individuals, prevention, etc. This is so that someone will get immediate medical attention if they have high risk and experience the different symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer.
The factors that increase risk of pancreatic cancer are:
- Excess body weight
- Chronic pancreatitis
- African-American race
- Family history of genetic syndromes that increase cancer risk
- Personal/family history of pancreatic cancer
The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Elevated blood sugars
- Abdominal and/or back pain
- Pale-colored stools and darker urine
What You Can Do on Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month?
- Post or tweet about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
- Order an awareness pack and distribute materials in your community
- Organize a symposium for raising pancreatic cancer awareness
- Talk to your family and friends about pancreatic cancer including how to prevent it
- Encourage your local media outlets to make a public service announcement for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
- Help raise funds for pancreatic cancer research
- Donate to any organization associated with Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
- Volunteer for any organization and/or event that advocates pancreatic cancer awareness
- Share your story if you are in any way affected by pancreatic cancer
Message on Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. This is why it is important to raise awareness of the disease which can help improve survival rates of patients. The problem is that many people do not know enough about pancreatic cancer including the signs and symptoms of the disease. Early diagnosis is vital for timely surgery which can significantly improve the survival rate of the patient. You can do your part this November and help spread pancreatic cancer awareness. Even a post on your Facebook account or a small donation can help with the cause.
Special Tips on Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Here are the top tips for pancreatic cancer prevention:
- The best way to prevent pancreatic cancer is to stop smoking
- Eat a healthy diet composed mostly of unprocessed foods
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Talk to your doctor about your pancreatic cancer risk
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month which is the perfect time to talk about the deadly disease. This is the time to increase our knowledge about one of the deadliest forms of cancer. It is also the time to be proactive in preventing pancreatic cancer through healthy lifestyle changes like following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Everyone is encouraged to do their part in the fight against pancreatic cancer.