Shifting the narrative: Surviving pancreatic cancer

Nov 30, 2023

This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, our charity supporter, Pancreatic Cancer Action’s #MISSED campaign is extremely close to our hearts.

While our co-founder, Dr Bea Bakshi, was working as a junior doctor, she met Joe - a patient in the emergency department. Quickly, he became very unwell. He had visited his doctor a few times in the month prior, but there were no answers for what was causing his illness. Worried, Bea ordered a CT scan followed by the unfortunate task of telling Joe that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

During that difficult conversation, Joe asked, “Why was my cancer picked up so late?” Bea couldn’t save Joe – he died three weeks later – but sadly, his story is not unique.

Unfortunately, 7 years on, not much has changed when it comes to the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic Cancer Action are raising important awareness of the signs and symptoms that are often missed, meaning that the chance for early diagnosis is also often missed, resulting in 800 families across the UK experiencing a devastating loss every month.

The early signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often vague, meaning people are often diagnosed in the later, less treatable, stages.

However, it is important that we shift the narrative and for us all to know that pancreatic cancer can be survived if diagnosed early.

C the Signs was developed with the hope of making stories like Joe’s obsolete by helping clinicians find cancer at the earliest most curable stage.

We also want to share with you all the signs and symptoms to be aware of and look out for to help shift this narrative more widely. When diagnosed early, pancreatic cancer can be survived.

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