York pancreatic cancer survivor takes part in national awareness campaign

A cancer survivor from York is appealing to members of the UK public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer, by taking part in a national awareness campaign, following her diagnosis four years ago. 

Jean has teamed up with charity Pancreatic Cancer Action to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place every November. By appearing on bus stops, beer mats and sharing her story on the Pancreatic Cancer Aware website, Jean is a living example that early detection of pancreatic cancer can have a positive outcome.A photo of a poster featuring Jean Clark as part of Pancreatic Cancer Action's national awareness campaign for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth biggest cancer killer in the UK and nearly 10,000 people a year are diagnosed with it. The disease has the lowest survival rate of all common cancers at just five per cent, which has barely changed in almost 50 years.

The Pancreatic Cancer Aware national advertising campaign aims to educate the public on the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer, and to encourage them to see their GP if they believe they have any of the key symptoms which include:

  • New onset mid back pain that’s persistent and worsening
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort that can come and go, which tends to get worse
  • Significant and unexplained weight loss
  • Indigestion that’s not responding to prescribed medication
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, dark urine and/or very itchy skin
  • Fatty and pale stools that are smelly and hard to flush

Pancreatic Cancer Action is committed to working towards earlier diagnosis of the disease so that surgery, currently the only cure, is made available to the sufferer. The charity fund research into early diagnosis, provide medical education programmes, and launch awareness campaigns.

Jean hopes that by telling his story that she will raise the profile of this deadly cancer and encourage people visit their doctor if they are worried that they might have the symptoms.

Jean says, “I was diagnosed in 2013 and was told that her cancer was inoperable. I started undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy to slow the progress of the cancer. Fortunately for Jean, treatment proved very effective.”

A photo of a poster featuring Jean Clark as part of Pancreatic Cancer Action's national awareness campaign for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month“When Pancreatic Cancer Action asked me to take part in the campaign, I didn’t hesitate.  I’m keen to spend time raising awareness for pancreatic cancer. I regularly set up fundraising and awareness stands in my local area. Helping others is what keeps me going.”

The charity’s founder Ali Stunt (herself a ten-year survivor of pancreatic cancer) said “We are delighted that Jean has been one of the people to tell her story of being diagnosed early with pancreatic cancer. By taking part she provides hope for people diagnosed with the disease and highlights the importance of visiting your GP if you are experiencing symptoms that are not normal for you.”

To read more patient stories please visit the patient story section of our website.

If you would like to find out more about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer please visit the symptom’s page by clicking here.