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Our Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 2023 highlights

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) 2023 is over and what a month it has been!

This year, we launched our #MISSED campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer to improve the statistics around missed diagnoses. 

Despite being one of the deadliest of all common cancers, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 8%, patients will visit their GP an average of 4 times before being diagnosed, with at least one patient visiting their GP at least 23 times before a correct diagnosis.  

Studies show that 43% of people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed when admitted to A&E, but by this point, it is too late for any curative treatment. 

#MISSED was developed to raise awareness of all the missed pancreatic cancer diagnoses that have had huge, irrevocable impacts on people’s lives. Symptoms were missed, and now thousands of families are missing their loved ones.  

The creation of our #MISSED campaign was made possible by the wonderful support we received from Free Partners, who gifted their time and expertise to create the campaign as part of their Free Love initiative.  

The #MISSED campaign has enabled us to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and its symptoms to a record-breaking number of people throughout November.  

In addition to the campaign, we were overwhelmed by the support we received and the number of events and activities that happened all over the country.

💜 Our #MISSED social media content was shown to a PCA record-breaking 9.5 million people! We saw lots of web traffic landing onto the #MISSED webpage from this content, which means more people are becoming aware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer through PCA.

💜 Our online adverts also saw fantastic numbers, another record-breaking 15 million people were shown our pancreatic cancer awareness raising adverts across the internet.

💜 We were also delighted to see fantastic engagement. 200 of you shared your loved ones’ images and stories with us and across your own social media channels. We have been truly humbled by what we’ve seen, and this only underlines the importance of the campaign and the continued fight for early diagnosis. 

💜 We’ve had incredible support from a number of those affected by pancreatic cancer, featuring as case studies and sharing their stories with the media for us – in papers, on the radio and on TV, locally, regionally and nationally. From this, we’ve reached over 24 million people with stories shared in The Mirror, The Express, ITV and the BBC, for example.  

💜 On 16th November it was World Pancreatic Cancer Day and we also saw our highest amount of traffic to the PCA website we have ever seen!

💜 We’ve had people all over the UK, join us to Turn it Purple by hosting Wear it Purple days and events, Bake it Purple cake bakes and sales and by hosting donation boxes or collections tins to help us Raise it Purple.  

💜 We hosted webinars and events for healthcare professionals. Partnering with local NHS bodies, we were able to speak directly with GPs, Pharmacists, and Diabetic Nurses and share the tools to support them in improving early diagnosis.   

💜 In Scotland, we held the inaugural Purple Hearts Gathering, an event that brought together survivors, donors, volunteers, staff and families of loved ones #MISSED.  

💜 We took over Glasgow Central Station on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, meeting supporters, sharing stories, raising awareness, and collecting donations. This event was only possible thanks to organiser Lesley Irving, one of our incredible volunteers who also put together a programme of entertainment throughout the day, including performances by a rock choir!  

💜 In Scotland we lobbied Members of the Scottish Parliament, who hosted a debate at Holyrood on 15th November to support Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.  

💜 We delivered occupational health talks to companies and organisations across the UK.

💜 We held awareness stands in Hospitals, community centres and supermarkets where we spoke to patients and the public about the importance of symptom awareness.  

💜 Our fundraising team was out in force at Waterloo Station, and with the help of some fantastic volunteers they collected donations and met some amazing people who stopped to speak to the team about their own pancreatic cancer stories. 

💜 With light-ups from Macduff in Scotland to St. Helier in Jersey, this year was the biggest yet for Purple Lights UK. Supporters lit up their homes and arranged for their local landmarks to light up purple to spotlight a disease that deserves more attention. 

💜 As a proud member of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, we joined 100 organisations from over 40 countries and six continents, in celebrating and promoting World Pancreatic Cancer Day on 16th November. This year’s campaign, ‘Hello Pancreas’ helped elevate global awareness and bring greater attention to this deadly disease. 

There are so many incredible activities and events that happened throughout November, that it’s impossible to list them all here. These are just some of the highlights we wanted to share with you.

You can find lots more featured on our social media channels.  

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is vital in the fight to raise awareness of the symptoms and to ensure early diagnosis and save lives.  

Thank you for your continued support and for helping us fight this deadly disease.