Why is Ipswich Hospital purple?
PUBLISHED: 12:42 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:34 28 November 2019
Purple lights are being shone on Ipswich Hospital to help put a spotlight on a disease that many people know so little about.
Almost 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year, and sadly less than 7% survive for five years or more.
To raise awareness of the illness - and to remember the lives it has taken - the South Wards Entrance and the Garrett Anderson Centre at Ipswich Hospital are being lit up to mark pancreatic cancer awareness month.
Despite being the UK's fifth biggest cancer killer, the disease receives less than 3% of UK cancer research funding.
Symptoms of the cancer can be quite vague - and therefore it is important to visit a GP if you have any concerns, as the average life expectancy on diagnosis is just four to six months.
These can include tummy pain which can spread to the back, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes and itchy skin), a change in bowel habits and indigestion. If symptoms last for more than four weeks you are advised to see a GP.
Jennifer Pratt, hepatic pancreatic biliary nurse specialist at the hospital, organised the display on behalf of those affected by pancreatic cancer.
She said: "We are extremely grateful to Ipswich 3 Line electrical for generously donating the lights, and the Ipswich works department who made this happen.
"I work as part of the team caring for patients and families affected by pancreatic cancer, alongside colleagues Dr Mohsen (HPB MDT lead), Dr Srinivasan (oncologist), Karen Sheen (UGI oncology nurse specialist), Chris Gilbert (palliative care nurse) and Anna Burrell (cancer MDT manager).
"We have made huge strides moving forward in caring for these patients but have also seen the devastation this disease can cause, and wanted to take this opportunity to shine the light to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer."
If you or someone you know has been affected by pancreatic cancer, free, confidential support and advice is available through the Pancreatic Cancer UK Support Line, which is staffed by specialist nurses. Call 0808 801 0707 (10am - 4pm Monday - Friday).