November is Pancreatic Awareness Month, and Cancer Council Queensland is encouraging Queenslanders to help raise awareness of the disease and generate support for those affected.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the top five causes of cancer deaths in Queensland. Tragically, a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer reduces the chance of living another five years by 92 per cent.
More than 520 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in Queensland, and around 450 lose their lives to the disease.
Currently, pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest cancers to detect and treat. There is no routine screening test for the disease, so it is vital to know the symptoms of abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, changes in bowel movements and jaundice.
Sometimes symptoms only occur once the disease has advanced, making it much harder to beat.
While the causes of pancreatic cancer are largely unknown, factors that can put people at higher risk are smoking, older age, diabetes, a family history of pancreatic, ovarian or bowel cancer, chronic pancreatitis and gastrectomy surgery.
If you have any of the above symptoms, don’t delay in visiting your GP. Help make a difference this November by also encouraging friends and family to get to know the symptoms.
Awareness and research is key to improving survival rates and reducing the burden on those affected.
Donating to Cancer Council Queensland will also help support our work in research to find more effective detection methods and treatments for pancreatic cancer, and provide as support services for those affected.
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