Rais­ing aware­ness of pan­cre­atic can­cer

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

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.’

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