MORE than seventy per cent of people in the region can’t name a single symptom of pancreatic cancer.

And nearly two thirds are unable to identify any factor that increases chances of getting the disease.

The research findings, for Yorkshire and the Humber, have been revealed as a campaign gets under way to raise awareness of the cancer.

Charity Pancreatic Cancer Action says people are five times more likely to die from the disease than in a car crash – and survival rates are the lowest of all common cancers.

But early diagnosis greatly boosts chances of survival.

“Pancreatic cancer is not just an ‘old man’s disease’,” said a spokesman.

“It affects almost 10,000 people a year and men and women are affected equally, with 40 per cent of those diagnosed under the age of 69.

“To make matters even more alarming, this region had 860 cases of pancreatic cancer in 2016. Shockingly, with the current five-year survival rate sitting at an abysmal 6.4 per cent, it is likely that only 55 patients will survive beyond 2021.

“However, if a patient is diagnosed early and able to have surgery, five-year survival increases to around 30 per cent. Knowing the symptoms and risk factors can help increase early diagnosis and save lives.”

Anyone who experiences upper abdominal pain or discomfort, mid-back pain, persistent indigestion that doesn’t go away with medication, unexplained weight loss, pale and smelly stools or jaundice, is urged to see their GP.

Among those battling the disease is mum Jean Clark, who was diagnosed in 2013 after she started to lose weight and suffer loss of appetite.

“Telling my two sons and daughter-in-laws the news was painful beyond words,” she said.

“I started planning for the worst – getting my affairs in order, making a will and telling my friends the news.

“I don’t think about my diagnosis too much. As long as I am well enough, I will carry on raising awareness and enjoying the time I have left.”

As part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, more than 80 organisations across the world are combining to highlight the disease.

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