On World Pancreatic Cancer Day, 16 November 2017, organisations from across the globe will come together to Demand Better for pancreatic cancer patients. This year, the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition invites the global community to take action to raise awareness of the symptoms and risks of this deadly disease.

I demand better for you

I demand better for you

Most people don’t know the common symptoms and risk factors for pancreatic cancer, and the majority of patients are diagnosed too late for surgery. 

Ten things you never knew about pancreatic cancer

  1. Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumour. The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine, with two main functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation
  2. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include abdominal bloating, pain in the mid-back or upper abdomen, unexplained weight loss, jaundice, diabetes, digestive problems which may include poor appetite, nausea, indigestion and vomiting
  3. The cause of the majority of pancreatic cancer cases is unknown, but research studies have identified the following risk factors that may increase the likelihood that someone will develop pancreatic cancer: family history of pancreatic cancer, family history of other cancers, diabetes, pancreatitis, smoking, obesity, ethnicity, age, and diet
  4. There is currently no screening test or early detection method for pancreatic cancer, and although some are in development, knowing the symptoms and risks remains the key to early diagnosis
  5. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers. In England and Wales, less than 5% of patients survive for 5 years or more1
  6. Every day, more than 1,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and an estimated 985 will die from the disease2,3
  7. The number of deaths from pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer mortality rates in Europe in 20174
  8. Research shows that patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years and beyond1 and in the UK, pancreatic cancer survival has not shown much improvement in the last 40 years
  9. Pancreatic cancer receives less than 2% of overall cancer research funding across Europe5
  10. On World Pancreatic Cancer Day, Thursday 16 November, the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition is encouraging people to wear purple in order to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and Demand Better in the fight against pancreatic cancer, starting with earlier diagnosis

Visit http://www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org/take-action/ for more information.


  1. Cancer Research UK, Pancreatic Cancer Survival rates http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/pancreatic-cancer/survival (last accessed: November 2017)
  2. GLOBOCAN 2012. Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/burden.asp?selection_pop=224900&Text-p=World&selection_cancer=23090&Text-c=Pancreas&pYear=3&type=0&window=1&submit=%C2%A0Execute (last accessed: November 2017)
  3. GLOBOCAN 2012. Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/burden.asp?selection_pop=224900&Text-p=World&selection_cancer=23090&Text-c=Pancreas&pYear=3&type=1&window=1&submit=%C2%A0Execute (last accessed: November 2017)
  4. Pancreatic cancer set to become third biggest cancer killer in EU next year, UEG press release, November 07, 2016. https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/pancreatic-cancer-set-to-become-third-biggest-cancer-killer-in-eu-next-year/ (last accessed: November 2017)
  5. “15 facts on Pancreatic Cancer”, European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) http://www.ecpc.org/edu/pancreas/249-15-key-facts-on-pancreatic-cancer (last accessed: November 2017)

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