Another light-up set for Blackpool Tower for world pancreatic cancer day

Blackpool tower at this year's illuminations switch-on
Blackpool tower at this year's illuminations switch-on
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World pancreatic cancer day, which falls on November 21 this year, will see Blackpool Tower lit up purple to draw attention to the disease.

The landmark has displayed different coloured lights for awareness of various diseases over the past few months, including green for mitochondrial disease awareness, and purple for postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS).

Thursday November 21 is the turn of world pancreatic cancer day, a disease affecting 10,000 people in the UK every year. Of those affected, around 180 will be from Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Information from Pancreatic cancer UK states that survival for pancreatic cancer has not improved in more than 50 years, and 93% of people die within five years of diagnosis.

Because of the vague symptoms, including feelings of indigestion, weight loss and lower back pain, pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult for doctors to diagnose.

Jackie Armitage, 60, from Thornton, was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 after doctors mistook her symptoms for indigestion and prescribed her with acid-blocking medication.

She said: "Pancreatic cancer is so easily missed at doctor's appointments because the symptoms could be anything from back ache to losing weight.

"I had a dull ache in my back, and after lots of different appointments I was eventually diagnosed."

Mrs Armitage hoped that lighting up the tower would bring more awareness about the disease, and encourage others to get themselves checked out if they have any of the common symptoms.

Diana Jupp, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK said: “Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease that touches thousands of lives across the UK.

"Every building, landmark and home lit purple during Pancreatic cancer awareness month helps raise much-needed awareness of the disease and its symptoms.

"It’s wonderful to see the pancreatic cancer community come together, as part of a global effort, to show their support for everyone living with the disease and remember those who have sadly passed away.”