Why it matters for patients

Pancreatic cancer often does not show any signs or symptoms in the early stages, making it hard to diagnose early. These are just some of the reasons it is the 4th deadliest cancer in Europe and has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers, with 1 250 people diagnosed each day worldwide and an estimated 480 000 new cases diagnosed by 2020. Currently there is no standard screening or early detection test method available. There are some being developed, a positive sign of progress in the field, but there needs to be greater attention and funding to encourage this.

Knowledge is one of our best tools in the fight against pancreatic cancer. To highlight this, World Pancreatic Cancer Day, taking place on the 17th of November, aims to spread awareness of these facts. The idea behind this event, a ‘day of action, a world of difference’, is to unite everyone under the common goal of seeking a new outlook for patients with this disease. By providing education about the disease and increasing awareness of its devastating impact, we hope to change the outlook for patients and families and ensure that there is more dedicated research and funding that can help save lives.

“There is a lack of targeted initiatives devoted to pancreatic cancer, and only some countries are using cancer registries to collect data on pancreatic cancer. Through joint action, the European Cancer Patient Coalition is part of a dedicated mission to identify opportunities for improving detection, diagnosis and access to clinical expertise for every European affected by pancreatic cancer.”

Francesco de Lorenzo – ECPC Past-President and Chair of the Scientific Committee

What ECPC adds

Due to the high mortality rate and thus the lack of survivors, there are only 6 Pancreatic Cancer Patient Organisations in Europe. While providing crucial information, they are limited to certain countries. This is why ECPC also wants to contribute to raising awareness and providing information about this disease. We are a member of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition and the organisers of World Pancreatic Cancer Day, and as such we aim to contribute to spreading awareness and encouraging action. How do we do this? We are also involved in Pancreatic Cancer Europe (PCE), a multi-stakeholder platform and network of stakeholders where the goal is to tackle pancreatic cancer. Within this network, ECPC chairs the work stream that coordinates and supports national activities, and supports materials produced alongside initiatives designed to raise awareness.

Since its foundation, PCE has created ‘10 Key Facts’ and ‘10 Warning Signs of PC’ to help inform the public about the basics of pancreatic cancer and how to spot the symptoms. ‘Think PC’, signed by Members of the European Parliament, is a commitment to put pancreatic cancer on the political agenda. These materials are now disseminated through different networks in different Member States, all featuring the purple kite logo, a symbol of hope. A flying kite has the power to rise above obstacles and can be seen by everyone! What can you do? We invite you to get creative and come up with your own way to promote World Pancreatic Cancer Day! Check out the guidelines and materials linked to below, to see how you can join the activities.

European Cancer Patient Coalition activities on Pancreatic Cancer are supported by