Letter to the Editor: Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Dear Editor,

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re encouraging Queenslanders to help raise awareness of the disease and generate support for those affected.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the five top leading causes of cancer death in Queensland – tragically, around 90 per cent of people diagnosed will die from the disease within five years.

Around 490 Queenslanders will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone and around 450 will lose their lives to the disease.

Research is key to improving survival rates and reducing the burden on those affected. Currently, pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest cancers to detect and treat.

There is no routine screening test for pancreatic cancer, so it’s vital to know the symptoms, including abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, changes in bowel motions, and jaundice.

Sometimes symptoms only occur once the disease has advanced, making it much harder to beat.

While the causes of pancreatic cancer are unknown, factors that can put people at higher risk are smoking, older age, diabetes, a family history of pancreatic, ovarian or colon cancer, chronic pancreatitis, and gastrectomy surgery.

Help make a difference this November by reaching out and encouraging friends and family to also know the symptoms. Early detection gives us a better chance of treating pancreatic cancer more effectively.

If you experience any symptoms, don’t delay talking to your GP.

If you or a loved one is affected by pancreatic cancer, reach out for support and information via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.

Professor Jeff Dunn AO
CEO, Cancer Council Queensland

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Laura McKoy,
Media Manager,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5345
Mobile: 0428 580 363