Today marks a very important day for me. It’s World Pancreatic Cancer Day. November is known as Pancreatic Cancer month.
The second World Pancreatic Cancer Day on
Friday, Nov. 13, will unite advocates around the globe in their mission to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer. An estimated 926 people globally are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every day. And every day, an estimated 905 people globally will die from the disease.
Despite rising incidences, most people are unaware of pancreatic cancer’s deadly toll.
A recent global survey found that 60 percent of people know “almost nothing” about the disease. 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. This worldwide initiative is being led by 56 patient advocacy organizations from around the world that are committed to tackling the fight against pancreatic cancer.
“Global awareness is the first step to action,” said Julie Fleshman, World Pancreatic
Cancer Day Chair and President and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
“The more people who know about pancreatic cancer, the greater our opportunity to demand more research and develop better resources for those facing the disease.”
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with just 2 percent to 10 percent of
those diagnosed surviving five years. The reasons we need better diagnostic and
treatment options are evident:
• Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits.
• There is no early detection method. Nearly half (46 percent) of all Americans mistakenly believe there is a way to be screened for pancreatic cancer. In the United Kingdom, 71 percent of people cannot name a single symptom of pancreatic cancer.
• There are few effective treatment options.
• Pancreatic cancer affects men and women equally.
• Death rates for pancreatic cancer are increasing, while death rates for other
cancers are declining.
But according to the organizations behind World Pancreatic Cancer Day, it’s within these dismal circumstances that hope shines brightest. The efforts on Nov. 13 will not only raise awareness and facts about the disease but also spread the word that with more research funding and more people taking action, the pancreatic cancer survival rate will improve, as has been the case for other cancers.
World Pancreatic Cancer Day encourages everyone to “see purple” on Nov. 13 by
wearing purple, lighting landmarks purple, using purple on social media channels,
etc. In addition, supporters will:
• Tackle a series of social media challenges to help people understand the need to know about the disease.
• Secure media attention around the globe.
• Encourage people to connect with their local pancreatic cancer organization.
You might have read in March last year that I have lost my lovely mum to this awful disease. Even though she tried to hide it, trying not to worry me, I eventually found out that she was diagnosed with it in March 2013. She managed to hold off well and went through a major surgery in May 2013. The doctor told her to enjoy the summer. You can interpret this any way, whether it means you won’t have another summer or you won’t make it to the winter… She thought she might only have another 6 months but I encouraged her it will be longer. And it was, we managed to have a wonderful unforgettable Christmas in 2013 without her being in any pain. Sadly she died only a few days after her 59th birthday in March 2014.
Please raise awareness and wear purple if possible or display anything purple on Facebook, Twitter or instagram using #WPCD