We’re urging the nation to shift from pink during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October to purple this November in support of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month by learning about its symptoms and risk factors.

infographic-risk-factorsThanks to years of research and advocacy in the breast cancer community, breast cancer patients have better treatments options, screening tools and early detection which have resulted in a decline in death rates.

It’s time to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer.

“Our nation must rally behind pancreatic cancer patients in the same ways we have for breast cancer patients,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of our organization. “To improve outcomes and see death rates decline in pancreatic cancer, we must educate more people about the disease.”

Knowing the symptoms and risk factors are important to raising awareness about pancreatic cancer and a tangible action that people can take during awareness month this November.

Pancreatic cancer may cause only vague unexplained symptoms. Pain (usually in the abdomen or back), weight loss, itching with jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes), loss of appetite, nausea, change in stool, pancreatitis and recent-onset diabetes are symptoms that may indicate pancreatic cancer.

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, we urge you to speak to your doctor immediately and reference pancreatic cancer.

If you have two or more first-degree relatives who have had pancreatic cancer, a first-degree relative who developed pancreatic cancer before the age of 50, or an inherited genetic syndrome associated with pancreatic cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

We strongly recommend consulting with a genetic counselor to determine your risk and eligibility for a screening program.

“By taking action through education this November, you are helping change the future of this disease,” added Fleshman. “Help us spread the word.”

For additional information on symptoms and risk factors, contact a Patient Central Associate toll-free at (877) 272-6226 or email patientcentral@pancan.org. Associates are available M – F, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Pacific Time.

Learn more about pancreatic cancer and how to support the cause this month at pancan.org/wagehope.