Raising awareness of pancreatic cancer
NOVEMBER is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and an NHS Highland expert says time is of the essence when it comes to combating the disease.
According to the NHS, more than 280 people in the Highlands were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over a five-year period from 2010, and approximately 800 people across Scotland, 80 per cent of who are 60 years of age and over, are diagnosed with the condition every year.
The number of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer has increased over the past dec- ade and NHS Highland surgeon Ron Coggins says it is vital to improve public understanding of the illness.
‘It is crucial we improve understanding of pancreatic cancer as it is the sixth commonest cause of cancer death in Scotland.
Mr Coggins added: ‘The earlier pancreatic cancer is detected, the higher the chance of successful treatment.
‘We need further funding and research into pancreatic cancer and global events like World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month can only help raise awareness of how crucial it is that we do so.’ The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer can vary depending on the type of tumour. In most cases these can be vague at first and come and go.
Symptoms can include pain in the stomach or back, weight loss, jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes – nausea and vomiting.
Mr Coggins continued: ‘It is absolutely vital people visit their GP if they regularly experience any of these symptoms, but remember these are also signs and symptoms of many less serious illnesses.’