Team of nurses in Wigan hope to raise money and awareness during Pancreatic Cancer Month
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Danielle Bagley and her hepato-pancreato-biliary cancer nurse specialist colleagues are spending Pancreatic Cancer Month fund-raising to help with much needed research.
While it is a common form of cancer, the survival rate is low – with just 15 per cent of patients surviving for three years or more after diagnosis. The only curative treatment is surgery, but just one in 10 is offered the procedure as the disease is too far spread.
Danielle believes this is in part due to a lack of symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage, unlike lung cancer which people are aware of a prolonged cough being a sign to look out for.
Danielle said: “With pancreatic cancer there are no real symptoms to it. Things such as heartburn or indigestion isn’t something associated with a disease like cancer.
"That’s the whole reason why for us we want to get it out there and fundraise, if we can get more people to stop and get things checked out at their local GP then it’s a success.”
They have received donations from local businesses such as La Mama restaurant, Ashton Chippy Bar, Atherton Roller Rink, Uncle Joe’s and Six Six Three, recently held a raffle and tombola and all proceeds are going to Pancreatic Cancer UK to continue research.
Research including that conducted by London Imperial College, who is developing a breath test that could detect the cancer early enough to save thousands of lives a year.
Danielle said: “It’s a really difficult job for us because unfortunately most of the patients we see pass away shortly after diagnosis and we do build up a good relationship with them.
"Both the tree outside the infirmary and the Town Hall are being lit up purple as part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to help spread the message.”
Last year shocking statistics revealed that 65 per cent of people in the North West know “almost nothing” about pancreatic cancer and 74 per cent can’t name a single symptom.