The campaign is part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (1 to 30 November) and calls on individuals, groups and businesses to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer in the UK by embracing purple, the symbolic colour for the disease.
On the evening of Sunday 1 November, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council will illuminate Stockton Town Hall in purple lights and change the multi-coloured lighting along the Riverside so it glows purple overnight between the Princess of Wales Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.
Pancreatic cancer affects around 30 people per year within Stockton Borough, although numbers appear to be slowly increasing over time.
Classic pancreatic cancer symptoms can include:
- Painless jaundice (yellow skin/eyes, dark urine)
- Significant and unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain which is new-onset and significant
Although it only accounts for around two percent of all cancers diagnosed within Stockton-on-Tees each year, only around four per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for five years or more. This figure has hardly changed in 40 years. It is the fifth most common cause of all cancer deaths in the UK and it is predicted that by 2030 pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer as the fourth most common cancer killer.
Councillor Jim Beall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health, said: “This weekend we are putting the spotlight on pancreatic cancer to highlight a disease that many people still know very little about. We want to raise awareness of the disease and the support available to those affected and their families. That is why Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is such a worthy cause and one that we are pleased to support.”
Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said: “Purple Lights for Hope presents a fantastic opportunity to raise crucial awareness of pancreatic cancer, which one person is diagnosed with in the UK every hour and has the lowest survival rate of all the 21 common cancers.
“On behalf of everyone at Pancreatic Cancer UK I would like to say a huge thank you to Stockton-on-Tees for helping us to spread our vital message of hope to people affected by the disease.”
For further information about Pancreatic Cancer, advice and support, visitwww.pancreaticcanceraction.org
To get involved in Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and order your free awareness pack, including purple glow sticks, visit www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/pcam