Are you aware that November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month? If not, you're not alone. According to a recent survey, when asked the question: "When you hear the word cancer, which cancers come to mind?" Breast and lung cancer were the most mentioned -- rarely pancreatic cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with increasing death rates and is expected to be the second highest cause of cancer death by 2020. Most patients are diagnosed in advanced stages with one quarter living only a year beyond initial diagnosis.
Celgene, a leading biopharmaceutical company, shared the findings from the Global Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Omnibus Survey, conducted by Ipsos in early 2014 among more than 7,000 adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Among those surveyed in the US, 49% claimed to know almost nothing about pancreatic cancer, which was the first cancer that came to mind in only 2% of that group when asked; 37% mentioned breast cancer and 20% mentioned lung cancer. When the same group was made aware of the poor survival rates associated with pancreatic cancer, more than 70% indicated the need for more support for more education about pancreatic cancer.
In addition to assessing the public's knowledge of this oftentimes fatal disease, the survey also identified priority goals when it comes to awareness. In the US, the top two priority goals of a public awareness campaign were supporting ways to increase screening and earlier diagnosis. Currently, there are no early detection screening tests available to catch pancreatic cancer in its early stages.
Celgene and current pancreatic cancer advocacy groups will soon launch a global social media campaign in an effort to call more attention to this disease as this the survey clearly demonstrates the need for more awareness, education, and support when it comes to pancreatic cancer.
Do you find that your colleagues have less knowledge about pancreatic cancer when compared to other types of cancer?