We’re proud to announce that Hope Street Xchange are partnering with Pancreatic Cancer Action as our official charity and taking part in Pyjamas for PanCan!
Their focus is on improving early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and improving the quality of life for those affected by the disease.
Currently there are almost 10,000 people newly diagnosed a year with pancreatic cancer. They’re on a mission to stamp out late detection which is the reason that the survival rate has remained at between 2% – 5% for nearly 50 years.
Last year, our building manager Rebecca Robinson found out her husband Dean had pancreatic cancer. She shares her story here:
“In May 2017 my husband became jaundiced after months of stomach problems, which our GP had previously put down to stress. In June 2017, following an emergency ERCP at Sunderland Royal Hospital, we were told the devastating news that Dean had cancer. At 40, no one ever thinks they will hear those words.
The doctors showed us pictures of this impostor, and we thought it didn’t look too bad, so we went away naive in the thought it was all going to be OK – they’d caught it early. Weeks later we visited an amazing consultant at the Freeman Hospital, this is when the seriousness of the disease was explained to us. ‘Ampullary Carcinoma’ (pancreatic cancer) is the better of the pancreas cancers to get, however, prognosis is still pretty grim with just a 5% survival rate…..those words sunk in.
Dean was lucky enough to be offered the Whipple procedure, a massive operation, he was in theatre for 12 hours. Following this, we found out the cancer was at stage 4 advanced with a spread. A mass of chemotherapy and trial drugs later and we still don’t know what the ending will be to our story, but we do know that things need to change. Statistics show that the death rate remains the same as it did in the 1970s from this cancer! How nothing can have changed in over 40 years seems crazy given the marvel of today’s medicine, we desperately need to raise awareness of the symptoms as early diagnosis is key in saving lives.”
What to look out for:
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Unexplained weigh loss
- Loss of appetite
- Changes to bowel habits – including steatorrhoea (pale, smelly stools that may float), diarrhoea (loose watery stools) or constipation (problems opening your bowels)
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes, and itching)
- Nausea and vomiting (feeling and being sick)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Recently diagnosed diabetes
Read more about recognising the symptoms here.
Over the coming months and years, we’ll be running events, fundraisers, and collecting money via a Change for Change tin in our café, with all the proceeds going to this fantastic cause.
On that note, our first fundraising event will take place on Monday 16th April, and will see our staff and some of our lovely tenants roll straight out of bed and into work for Pyjamas for PanCan day!! Join us and don your nightwear to help say goodnight to pancreatic cancer; the cancer that has been kept in the dark for too long.