Nov. 16 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day, and Kelly’s Heroes is raising awareness along with our fellow members of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition.
Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death, with a five-year survival rate of just 9 percent in the United States. Each day an average of 1,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 985 of them will die. With statistics like those, this year’s theme for World Pancreatic Cancer Day is “Demand Better.”
How can you help?
- Wear purple Nov. 16 to show your support, and if you get the opportunity, tell people that you’re wearing purple to increase awareness of the deadliest of all major cancers. Take a photo of yourself in purple and post it to Kelly’s Heroes on Twitter @1kellysheroes or on Facebook at Kelly’s Heroes: Fighting Pancreatic Cancer, and Kerry Kelly will donate $5 for every photo.
- Learn about the symptoms and risk factors of pancreatic cancer. We need more people to be “pancreatic cancer aware” to improve early detection. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include abdominal or back pain, sudden weight loss, jaundice, bloating, indigestion and new onset diabetes. Risk factors can include obesity, smoking and family history. Be your own advocate and push for answers if you are ill and experience these symptoms. People diagnosed early, before the cancer has spread, are candidates for surgery which greatly increases the chances for survival.
- Spread the word. Despite the great toll pancreatic cancer takes — more than 40,000 deaths in the United States each year — it’s often one of the overlooked cancers in terms of awareness and research funding. Visit worldpancreaticcancerday.org to learn more about the global effort to demand better, for patients, for survival.