Do not overlook the symptoms of deadliest cancer

As Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month comes to end people are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of the disease.

Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 12:19 pm
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all 22 of the most common cancers

The dedicated awareness month aims to bring focus and attention to the disease which affects both men and women equally.

It is the fifth most common form of cancer; around 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year.

Pancreatic cancer still has the lowest five-year survival rate of all the 22 most common cancers, this is largely due to late diagnosis.

However, it has now risen to a record high 7.9 per cent in the UK, compared to just three per cent 10 years ago.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include: jaundice, upper abdominal pain or discomfort, mid back pain or discomfort, pale and smelly stools, loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, new onset diabetes, fatigue, change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss.

These symptoms can be caused by many different conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome or indigestion, and aren’t usually the result of cancer.

However, if you regularly experience one or more, which are not normal for you, contact your GP.

Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP Martyn Day, who is also SNP spokesperson for Public Health and Primary Care, said: “Pancreatic cancer can affect anyone but symptoms like back pain and loss of appetite can easily be overlooked.

“Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is the ideal opportunity to raise the profile of this cancer and familiarise yourself with the symptoms.

“I know during the first lockdown people were reluctant to visit their GP however, it’s imperative you contact them straight away if you’re worried about cancer.

“The NHS remains open for everyone, and you should not delay accessing any help you might need.”

Further information and support can be found by visiting https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/.