Scunthorpe United are supporting Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and have joined forces with the #HopeIsContagious campaign to help raise awareness of the disease.
The Scunthorpe-based campaign was borne out of Maggie Watts losing her husband to pancreatic cancer in 2009 and the fact that her husband’s mother had also died of pancreatic cancer in 1969. Although their deaths were exactly 40 years apart, nothing had changed whatsoever in all that time. The shockingly low survival rates had stood still and there was very little research funding going in the direction of pancreatic cancer.
Maggie is pictured above with first team players Rory McArdle and Lewis Butroid as part of the club’s support of the campaign, which has a focus to raise awareness of the disease, with an emphasis on knowing the symptoms because early diagnosis is key to survival.
The campaign’s Patron is actress Julie Hesmondhalgh who became involved as a result of playing a part in Coronation Street where her character, Hayley Cropper, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Currently, so few are found at an early, curative stage and one of the reasons for this is that the symptoms can be vague. There is a need for much more symptom awareness in the hope that this will help more people to be diagnosed at an early, operable stage.
While it’s important to note that these symptoms can also be associated with much less sinister conditions than Pancreatic Cancer, these are the main symptoms associated with it:
-> Unexplained weight loss
-> Discomfort/pain in the upper abdomen
-> Discomfort/pain in the mid back area
-> Indigestion which isn’t responding to typical indigestion medication
Other non-specific symptoms...
-> Change in stools – pale and smelly which are difficult to flush
-> New onset diabetes not associated with weight gain (and possibly experiencing other symptoms)
SOME PANCREATIC CANCER FACTS
-> Affects men and women equally
-> 27 people in UK are diagnosed each day
-> 5 year survival rate – 4.5%
-> 1 year survival rate – 20%
-> Receives less than 3% of research funding
-> Survival rates have barely changed in 50+ years
-> 5th highest cancer killer in the UK
Although the #HopeIsContagious campaign is more about awareness than raising funds, it has pledged that all excess monies raised from the campaign will go to the two excellent pancreatic cancer charities who allow their symptom information to be shared by the campaign.
Both charities are working so hard for better outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients
You can read more about the work of the campaign and see links to both charities at the website www.hopeiscontagious.co.uk or follow on social media.