Ipswich Hospital is being illuminated with purple lighting to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, remember those who have passed away and celebrate the lives of people who have survived the illness.
The South Wards Entrance and Garrett Anderson Centre at the hospital, which is run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, are being lit up until 29 November to mark pancreatic cancer awareness month.
Almost 10,000 people are diagnosed with the illness in the UK each year. Sadly, less than 7% survive for five years or more, and despite being the UK’s fifth biggest cancer killer, the disease receives less than 3% of UK cancer research funding.
Symptoms can be quite vague and could 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. Anyone who has experienced these symptoms for four weeks or more should visit their GP.
Jennifer Pratt, hepatic pancreatic biliary nurse specialist, organised the display at Ipswich Hospital 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.
“We hope that by lighting up Ipswich Hospital in purple, we will help put a spotlight on a disease that many people still know so very little about.”
Purple Lights for Pancreatic Cancer is supported by the charities Pancreatic Cancer UK, Pancreatic Cancer Action, Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, Planets and Guts UK. The campaign involves the act of lighting purple focal points in villages, towns and cities all over the UK.Back to top