Pancreatic Cancer Action follow hard-hitting initiative with symptoms awareness campaign

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Pancreatic Cancer Action, the UK-based charity behind the hard-hitting ‘I wish I had’ adverts, plans to release a second series of adverts across the London Underground to raise awareness of the symptoms of the fifth biggest cancer killer.

“The objective of our initial campaign, which has received worldwide attention, was to raise massive awareness of pancreatic cancer and the grim statistics, including the shockingly low 3% survival rate.” says Ali Stunt, a rare survivor of pancreatic cancer and founder of Pancreatic Cancer Action.

The charity has seen a 200% increase in web traffic, and a particular spike in visits to the page which focuses on symptoms. “We’ve had so many people contact us to tell us that the campaign has successfully initiated conversation about pancreatic cancer, and have been invited to discuss the issues at a political conference in Spring.” continues Ali.

“The huge attention pancreatic cancer has received this week has provided us with an opportunity to bring forward a symptoms-led awareness campaign.  The new adverts will raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease to encourage more people to visit their doctor.”

The new creative features the same faces from the first round, Penny, Andy and Kerry, and still uses quotes, but focuses on how they and their doctors missed the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Lines like “They call it the silent killer. But my symptoms weren’t silent” leading in to a list of symptoms to be aware of:

Due to lack of awareness of the disease and symptoms, people are often diagnosed too late for surgery, which is currently the only cure. The average life expectancy most people will face is just four to six months.
“Ultimately we want to see a dramatic increase in the number of people that survive this awful cancer,” continues Ali. “While no early detection device exists, awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer is a key to saving lives.”
The charity is focused on educating the public and medical community as well as funding research into early diagnosis. They also campaign for more funding from the government, which currently stands at less than one per cent of all research funding.
If you have any of these symptoms ask your doctor to rule it out.
For more information, please visit
The advertising for both campaigns was devised and created by creative agency Team Darwin.

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  1. Dear Kerry,

    I would like to apologies for the negative messages you have been getting from some parts of the public.

    Of course you don’t want breast cancer. Your message is a statement of truth. If people can’t understand that you would of had a much higher chance of survival with breast cancer then I am sorry.

    I am not a cancer sufferer, but my mum had been diagnosed with cervical cancer two years ago. Thankfully, it looks as if she has beaten “it”. My father-in-law is going through treatment for bowel cancer at the present. It looks like it’s going to be a long hard fight. But with the grace of god, we hope he also beats this vile deasease. I am almost sure they both would give you their blessing and support.

    I apologies again for the responses you have had that are disgraceful. I wish you all the luck you undoubtably deserve. Sorry again bud!

    P. Hallsworth

  2. I have been stewing on the ‘I wish I had’ campaign for a little while now. I can not emphasise enough how incredibly cruel I found it. I am a breast cancer survivor – so far, still undergoing treatment. However I lost my Mum and my Aunt to breast cancer. The devastation caused to a person and their family on being given the diagnosis of breast cancer has been totally belittled. Today I lost a friend to breast cancer as well. She has been in hospital since July with a terrible quality of life but her family never missed a day of being by her side. Do you think that they were glad she had breast cancer? I still live day by day wondering if any ache or pain or strange sensation means cancer, and I also live with the side effects of the treatment. I know that I am lucky to be here to have those worries, but I would never wish any sort of cancer on even my worst enemy. The world already thinks that breast cancer is totally curable and your campaign has done nothing to dispel that myth. There is no ‘good’ cancer to have. My sympathies lie with every person, and their families, who have to hear the horrible word cancer as their diagnosis no matter what sort it is but I really think that who ever gave the green light for that campaign should never have the responsibility of that sort of decision again.

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