Focus on pancreatic cancer awareness

Roberta Brownlee (SHSCT Chair), Michelle Penney (Pancreatic Cancer UK) and Southern Trust staff.
Roberta Brownlee (SHSCT Chair), Michelle Penney (Pancreatic Cancer UK) and Southern Trust staff.

During November, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has been putting a spotlight on the disease by hosting a range of awareness events for patients, staff and members of the public.

Backed by charity Pancreatic Cancer UK, The Southern Trust will be helping people to understand what the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are by handing out information on the disease in Craigavon Hospital foyer throughout November and hosted a ‘Show your support by wearing purple on World Pancreatic Cancer Day’ on Friday past.

Pancreatic Cancer UK says spreading the word about the disease is crucial as only around four per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive five years or more, yet awareness of the disease is still too low.

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of all cancer deaths in the UK and it is predicted that by 2030 the disease will overtake breast cancer as the fourth most common cancer killer.

The main symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

• Yellow skin or eyes and/or itchy skin (jaundice)

• Unexplained weight loss

• Tummy pain that starts as general discomfort which can spread to the back

• Oily floating poo

Detailed signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be found on Pancreatic Cancer UK’s website.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said: “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month presents a fantastic opportunity for people to come together and put a spotlight on pancreatic cancer.

“One person is diagnosed with the disease in the UK every hour, and the disease has the lowest survival rate of all the 21 common cancers, so it really is crucial that we all find out more about it.

“On behalf of everyone at Pancreatic Cancer UK I would like to say a huge thank you to The Southern Health & Social Care Trust for helping us to spread the word about pancreatic cancer.”

Maureen Connolly, Upper Gastrointestinal Clinical Nurse Specialist is available for information and support for patients and their families dealing with Pancreatic Cancer who live in the Southern Trust area. Maureen can be contacted on: 028 3861 2562 or