18 November 2016
Leighton Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Unit is being lit up purple throughout evenings in November to mark Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
The unit, which is run by Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT), has joined organisations and well-known landmarks across the country for Purple Lights for Hope.
The campaign was launched by Pancreatic Cancer UK in 2015 and provides an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those coping with a pancreatic diagnosis and remember those who have died of the disease.
Jean Wilson, 70, from Sandbach, was diagnosed with a small tumour in July 2013. She said: “I went for a blood test in the April after first showing symptoms in January. A simple blood test early on could have saved me three months of getting progressively more unwell.”
With the support of family, friends and the “wonderful Macmillan team”, Jean had the tumour removed and then decided to have chemotherapy.
Jean, who now leads a normal life, said: “The support from Macmillan has been amazing. They are there for you from day one – from diagnosis to post-operative care and for the rest of your life really.
"I’d encourage anyone who shows any symptoms to persist in seeing their doctor.”
Abdominal pain which can spread to the back, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, jaundice, oily floating poo, and indigestion are symptoms that can indicate a problem with your pancreas.
Those with jaundice are urged to see their GP without delay, while those displaying any of the other symptoms and if they are unexplained or have lasted for four weeks or more are also encouraged to visit their doctor.
Vicky Woodall, Clinical Nurse Specialist at MCHFT, said: “It is really important to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and its symptoms.
“We have a large proportion of patients who present with pancreatic cancer symptoms too late or who don’t get checked out. This is why we are getting involved with the Purple Lights for Hope campaign again this year.
“We want to encourage those displaying symptoms to get checked earlier so that, if needed, they can be diagnosed and treated quicker. A quicker diagnosis leads to a better outcome so, if you are worried, don’t delay in getting checked.”
Northwich’s Anderton Boat Lift is another local organisation that has been raising awareness of pancreatic cancer by running a bake sale and information stand.