Pancreatic cancer is considered the deadliest cancer because it’s tough to treat. First, because of its location in the body and the fact that symptoms present when the disease has already progressed.  Plenty of studies have been undertaken and are still ongoing to find better ways of diagnosing and treating it early while it’s still localized.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) has been at the forefront of creating awareness of pancreatic cancer through public advocacy, patient services, clinical initiatives, and research. The organization sensitizes the public to understand the risks and symptoms of the disease. PanCAN is determined to help improve pancreatic cancer outcomes and double its survival by 2020.

PanCAN launched a pancreatic cancer awareness month campaign in November and is encouraging everyone to participate in the fight against the disease. Through public service announcements, the organization uses a storytelling approach to highlight cancer survivor and caregiver stories. This has helped to spread awareness and information regarding the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. PanCAN’s mission is to help improve patient outcomes.

The campaign features individuals directly affected by pancreatic cancer and PSA videos, which are released on a weekly basis to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and self-advocacy. The campaign also encourages the public to wear purple as a symbol of pancreatic cancer, support research through donations to, and raise awareness.

The campaign has underscored the urgent need for solutions that can help to improve pancreatic cancer patient outcomes. It encourages everyone to join in support of PanCAN’s mission. Right now, pancreatic cancer incidence rates keep increasing every year. It is the only form of cancer with the lowest five-year survival rate. Until now, there are no early detection methods and screening tests for the disease.  Many patients are diagnosed late when the disease has already spread beyond the pancreas. 

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often vague and not taken seriously by patients. They include unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice, nausea, changes in stool, the onset of diabetes, and more. PanCAN advises everyone to pay close attention to the symptoms and consult the doctor immediately.