Pajamas at the ready!

Let's Support Pancreatic Cancer Action

Next Monday is PanCan Day. Wear your pyjamas to work and help say goodnight to pancreatic cancer: the cancer that has been kept in the dark for too long.

With your help in raising funds and awareness, more patients are diagnosed at an early stage so that they have the best chance of survival.

Find out how to raise funds and take part.

Pancreatic cancer facts

  • Almost 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year

 

  • It affects men and women equally with incidence increasing from the age of 45 with the average age at diagnosis being 72

 

  • 27 people are newly diagnosed with the disease each day

 

  • For those diagnosed in time for surgery, their chances of surviving beyond five years increases by up to 30% and currently, less than 7% of those diagnosed survive beyond five years

 

  • It's the UK’s fifth biggest cancer killer and yet it receives less than 3% of cancer research funding.

Causes and risks for pancreatic cancer

The causes of pancreatic cancer are unknown, and most cases occur out of the blue. However, there are some things that make developing pancreatic cancer more likely:

  • Cigarette smoking: There is a direct relationship between the amount you smoke and the risk of pancreatic cancer
  • Age: The risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age
  • Diabetes: There have been a number of reports which suggest that diabetics have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer
  • Obesity: Research indicates that obesity is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men and women
  • Alcohol intake: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly can increase your chances of pancreatic cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis: Long-term inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) has been linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Having a history of certain health conditions – such as a stomach ulcer and Helicobacter pylori infection (a stomach infection).

Pancreatic cancer by itself (not part of a known syndrome) runs in some families. People with first degree relatives (mother, father, brother, sister) diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have an increased risk of being in that type of family.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, and/or very itchy skin
  • Unexplained weight loss: Weight loss without trying
  • Upper abdominal pain or discomfort: Which may radiate to the back
  • Mid-back pain or discomfort: Where a bra strap would sit and may be eased by leaning forward.
  • Indigestion: Not responding to medication.
  • Pale and smelly stools: That don’t flush easily.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain on eating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • New onset diabetes - not associated with weight gain
  • Low mood or depression.

Patients with symptoms that suggest they have pancreatic cancer need quick investigation, usually by a CT scan and early referral to a specialist unit for other investigations. Speak to your doctor or occupational health provider if you have any concerns.

Find out more about the symptoms

Watch the video