This Thursday, November 21st is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day. It’s part of a month-long effort to raise awareness about the world’s toughest cancer.
Groups like the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network organize events and sponsor fundraising efforts throughout the month. This year, their focus is “Demand Better. For Patients. For Survival.” It highlights the importance of early diagnosis and its role in increased survival rates. With this campaign’s success, pancreatic cancer survival rates could double by 2020!
What are the Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer may seem vague compared to other cancers. Since your pancreas is a gland inside your body between your stomach and spine, there isn’t a lump to feel for. Instead, you and your doctor need to watch for a combination of a more subtle set of symptoms. These include:
- Abdominal (belly) or mid-back pain
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in stool
- Recent onset diabetes
You can also learn more about the risk factors that impact your chances of developing pancreatic cancer by taking a brief ten question survey on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. These risk factors include things like age, history of diabetes and other cancers, and genetics.
Want to get involved? Help Raise Pancreatic Cancer Awareness!
It’s easy to get involved this pancreatic cancer awareness month. Check out the resources provided on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website.
The site provides information about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer and a personal risk assessment. You can also use the site to contact Congress and be an advocate for pancreatic cancer research and awareness.
Finally, don’t forget to wear purple on Thursday, November 21st in recognition of World Pancreatic Cancer Day.