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November is pancreatic cancer awareness month - play a part |22 November 2019

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month - play a part

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The month of November is recognized as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to help people across the world raise more awareness about this disease, and to honour and support those who are affected.

This year, World Pancreatic Cancer Day was observed yesterday, November 21, also with the aim of raising awareness and inspiring action against what is said to be the world’s toughest cancer (WPCD).

It appears that generally, there is a lack of public knowledge about pancreatic cancer – a condition which according to the NCBI, is the seventh leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, also ranking as the 11th most common cancer in the world; knowing the risk factors of pancreatic cancer is thus essential in the primary prevention of this disease.

It is in this light and in commemoration of Pancreatic Cancer Day and Awareness Month, that we learn more about this disease and the ways in which members of the public in Seychelles feel that more can be done to grow awareness and to raise funds for this cause on a local scale.


About the pancreas and pancreatic cancer, as described by PCAN

The pancreas, a gland located deep in the abdomen between the stomach and spine, makes enzymes to help digestion and hormones (e.g. insulin) that control blood sugar levels.

The Pancreas


Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow and divide out of control and form a tumour.


-           DNA

Risk factors

-           Diabetes

-           Chronic and hereditary pancreatitis

-           Smoking

-           Race

-           Age: over the age of 60

-           Gender: males slightly more likely

-           Diets high in red and processed meats

-           Obesity

Signs & symptoms

-           Pain, usually in the abdomen or back

-           Weight loss

-           Jaundice

-           Loss of appetite

-           Nausea

-           Changes in stool

-           Pancreatitis

-           Recent-onset diabetes

How can we all play a role to raise awareness and inspire action about pancreatic cancer in Seychelles? The following are the suggestions of some members of our local community:

  1. Individuals, groups and organisations can host events that give information about pancreatic cancer
  2. Improve your individual lifestyles by increasing physical activity and eating a healthier diet
  3. Hold activities and events that raise funds that can go towards growing awareness and helping those affected
  4. Wear purple (the colour associated with pancreatic cancer) to show support to those affected by the disease
  5. Join others in the community to hold a sale of unwanted items like clothes and books, and donate these funds to growing more awareness
  6. Have engaging educational programmes on the television and radio and educational articles in newspapers
  7. Individuals can educate themselves, for example, reading about pancreatic cancer on the internet
  8. Local authorities can develop programmes to educate the public, especially since many people are not knowledgeable about this type of cancer, hence it is important that we know more about it
  9. If there have been any survivors of pancreatic cancer in Seychelles, they can be encouraged to talk about their experiences so that we can learn from them as well
  10. There needs to be more talks about pancreatic cancer in Seychelles, in the same way that there is about breast, lung and prostate cancer.



References: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN); National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); World Pancreatic Cancer Day (WPCD)

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