Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day
Today marks Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day, an effort to promote awareness of lung, liver, brain, oesophageal, pancreatic and stomach cancer.
There are many cancers which have seen remarkable developments and new successful treatment regimes, but others are just as deadly as they were 40 years ago.
Lung, pancreatic, liver, brain, oesophageal and stomach cancers all have a five-year survival rate of less than 20%, and are responsible for one half of all deaths from common cancers, but there are still low levels of awareness amongst the public and health practitioners, with knowledge of the symptoms as low as 4%.
Delays in diagnosis can have a detrimental effect on survival of these rapidly-advancing diseases, which are currently difficult or impossible to treat at later stages.
A Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce was recently formed by UK charities supporting patients who have these cancers and urges everyone to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical help at the earliest opportunity if they recognise any of the signs.
Typical symptoms will vary but red flags for less survivable cancers could include any of the following; indigestion, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, a loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, a persistent cough, unexplained tiredness, headaches or nausea.
“The stats for these less survivable cancers are absolutely frightening,” Louis Baldachino, founder of the charity Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Gibraltar, said.
“We urge the public in Gibraltar to get to know and to be aware of their symptoms, and to see their GP swiftly if anything is unusual.”
“As expected pancreatic cancer is one of the less survivable cancers. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all common cancers and is also the fastest killing cancer.”
“We will of course keep pushing for optimal pathways in Gibraltar to ensure minimal delays and equitable access to best treatments and care.”