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Public awareness of pancreatic cancer: Ipsos MORI researchIpsos_Mori_logo

Pancreatic Cancer Action commissioned research into public awareness of pancreatic cancer.  The research was conducted using Ipsos MORI’s in home face to face omnibus, Capibus, between the 19th and 29th October 2012. Questions were asked to sample of 1009 GB adults aged 15+. Results are weighted to ensure the sample was representative of this profile.  Full data tables are available upon request.

Public awareness: Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Nearly half of all respondents could not name a single symptom of pancreatic cancer:

Men were significantly less able to name a symptom versus females. There was no regional variation.

More women than men made up the 16 per cent who correctly guessed abdominal pain/back pain, the 14 per cent who guessed unexplained weight loss, the nine per cent who guessed pain on eating, the nine per cent who guessed loss of appetite and the five per cent who guessed that feeling bloated after meals could be a symptom of pancreatic cancer.

ABC1s were more likely to guess the correct symptoms of pancreatic cancer than those in C2DE social grades.

Public awareness: Knowledge of pancreatic cancer:

Eleven per cent of respondents had never heard of pancreatic cancer and just over a quarter of those aged 15-24 hadn’t heard of pancreatic cancer – significantly more than those in other age groups.

Nearly two thirds of respondents said that while they had heard of pancreatic cancer they know nothing about it with significantly more under 55s stating this than those over 55.

More people in Scotland and the midlands had heard of pancreatic cancer but didn’t know anything about it than those in London

Significantly more of those who said they knew a fair amount/great deal about pancreatic cancer came from the south of England versus the midlands.

 Public awareness:  Location of the pancreas:

Nearly nine out of ten respondents could not correctly identify the location of the pancreas or simply said they didn’t know where it is when shown an image of the torso with internal organs. One out of ten thought their appendix was their pancreas

There was no regional variation and no variation between men and women.

Public awareness: The function of the pancreas:

A third of all respondents had no idea what the function of the pancreas is and nearly half of 15-24 year olds said they did not know what the pancreas does.

More Scottish respondents did not know the function of the pancreas than those in the north and midlands. Fewer people in the North could identify the functions of the pancreas than those in the South.

A quarter of all respondents knew it helped digest food and a quarter also knew it regulated blood sugar.

One in ten thought its function is to cleanse the blood.

Nearly half of those without internet access couldn’t identify the function of the pancreas.

Public awareness: Who is at risk of getting pancreatic cancer?

Nearly half of respondents correctly answered that both men and women are at risk of developing pancreatic cancer

A third thought that men were only/most at risk – and significantly more women thought that men were at only/most risk than men thought men were only/mostly at risk.

Significantly more people in Scotland thought that men were only/mostly at risk than those in London.

Nearly one in 20 did not know who was most at risk of developing pancreatic cancer and of this figure it was significantly more men who did not know.