Landmarks, businesses and homeowners across the South West played their part in raising awareness of pancreatic cancer last night.
Tavistock Town Hall, St Michael’s Mount, Bristol City Hall, Bournemouth Pier and Christchurch Priory are just some of the locations in the South West that lit up purple, the colour of the pancreatic cancer awareness ribbon for World Pancreatic Cancer Day and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
The landmarks that lit it purple did so as part of the Purple Lights UK campaign. The campaign invites individuals to light up a focal point, their home or a monument as a way to remember loved ones who have sadly died of the disease and celebrate those that have survived. For those unaware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, it provides an opportunity to provide much needed awareness of the disease. It is supported by pancreatic cancer charities, Pancreatic Cancer Action, Pancreatic Cancer UK, and Planets Cancer Charity.
On seeing so many landmarks, schools, businesses and homeowners in the South West taking part, Founder & CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action, Ali Stunt, said: “It’s so good to see so many people raising awareness in this, the tenth pancreatic cancer awareness month. The Purple Lights initiative is a great way for those that have lost loved ones to pancreatic cancer, or survived it, to celebrate and raise awareness.”
Pancreatic cancer is the UK’s fifth bigger cancer killer, receiving only 3.1% of cancer research funding. Twenty-eight people are newly diagnosed with the disease each day, with almost half of all patients diagnosed as an emergency in A+E, when it is highly likely the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. For those that are diagnosed in time for surgery, their chances of surviving beyond five-years increase by up to 30%.
This year marked the 10th Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and World Pancreatic Cancer Day. In 2011 when the awareness month started, the five-year survival rate was just 3%. Now in 2021, it has risen to 7.9%, highlighting that awareness works! For this year’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day, the theme was “It’s About Time, with people told “It’s about time you get to know your pancreas better. For you. For your loved ones. It’s about time you learned the risks and symptoms. It’s about time you talked to your family about this disease. It’s about time. On World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2021, take time, make a difference.”
Although it may be too late to get a landmark to Light it Purple for 2021, it’s not too early to start thinking about 2022. World Pancreatic Cancer Day will take place on Thursday, November 17 2022. Those looking to get a landmark to light it purple are advised to call the landmark or email them. You can find a letter/email template on the Purple Lights UK website.