Raise your mug to cancer awareness

In 1970, people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had just a three per cent chance of surviving five years. Forty years later people who find out they have this rare but deadly cancer are still faced with the same slim margin of survival.

Later this month, people across the country will be trying to raise awareness and money for research into cancer of the pancreas, and among them is Lingwood woman Marie Breame, who lost both her mother and her husband to the disease.

Mrs Breame, 62, said: 'Because people don't survive long with pancreatic cancer they are very limited in the clinical trials they can do.

'There's very little warning so most people are diagnosed too late and that makes it extremely difficult.'

Mrs Breame's husband Roger had three lots of chemotherapy, but it made him so ill that the couple decided they wanted to put his quality of life first.

He survived for a year and died on Friday, August 13 at the age of 68.

Known as the silent killer, pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Often difficult to diagnose and with limited access to detection tests and effective treatments, the average survival time after diagnosis is merely six months as symptoms generally do not appear until the disease is well advanced.

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Mrs Breame said: 'He developed jaundice and and tests showed that something wasn't quite right.

'We went to see our GP and he said Roger had this cancer and that he was very sorry but with treatment he might live two or three years.

'I lost my mum to it so when the doctor told us what my husband had got I knew there was no hope.

'Three per cent is a terrible statistic and there's no visible progress being made.'

Mrs Breame and her friend Elizabeth Cameron will be holding a fundraising coffee morning from 10am to midday on Wednesday, November 24, at the Old Rectory, in Norwich Road, Strumpshaw, as part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week, which runs from November 22 to 28.

They will be raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK's vital research and development of diagnostic testing to help improve treatment and reduce the mortality of the disease.

Alex Ford, from the charity, said: 'Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week encourages everyone to get involved with a purple day fundraising event. The more cash we raise, the more people we can help survive this deadly disease which kills nearly 7,000 people annually.

'Too many people die from pancreatic cancer because 90pc of people are diagnosed too late – help us change that.'

To get involved or find out more about purple day fundraising events visit www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk or call 0203 177 1686.