Ballynure couple working to raise profile of deadly disease

Isabel Campbell is aiming to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer. INNT 46-805CON

Isabel Campbell is aiming to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer. INNT 46-805CON

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Two local people have been inspired by the death of a loved one to start campaigning to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.

Sam and Isabel Campbell from Ballynure joined ‘Pancreatic Cancer Action’ after Isabel’s sister passed away after being diagnosed with the illness.

The charity aims to raise both funds and awareness of the condition, which is the fifth biggest cancer killer in the United Kingdom.

“Following on from our own personal experience, we feel that more needs to be done to make people aware of the illness and to raise its profile. Currently only four per cent of patients who are diagnosed with the condition survive. This needs to be addressed urgently,” Sam said.

This month is ‘Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month’, and throughout November there is a campaign being organised on a UK wide scale to highlight the condition.

Tomorrow (Friday, November 13) is ‘World Pancreatic Cancer Day’. Throughout the UK buildings will be lit up purple to mark the occasion. Locally, Mossley Mill and Antrim Civic Centre will be turned purple for the event.

“One of the main issues is the time it takes to detect the condition. Detection rates are currently so poor compared to other cancers, that by the time a person is diagnosed they only have an average life expectancy of between four to six months,” Isabel said.

“The profile of the illness needs raised. Research shows that in years to come there will be more people dying as a result of pancreatic cancer than breast cancer,” she added.

Some of the main signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer include, low mood or depression, indigestion, jaundice, fatigue, mid-back pain and unexplained weight loss. Contact your GP if you experience these symptoms.

For more information check out www.pancreaticcanceraction.org