Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2020, and the perfect opportunity to catch up with fellow local charity, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Gibraltar. We recently sat down for a (socially distanced) cup of tea and a chat with founder, Louis Baldachino, who was himself diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, to find out more about his charity’s aims and how we can work together to provide the best possible support for families affected by this often overlooked cancer. Louis says “Our charity, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Gibraltar, is two years old this year and, in that time, I am proud of the impact it has had. The charity was founded to create awareness among GPs, consultants, nurses, all medical professionals in fact, so that they could ‘think pancreatic cancer sooner’. That’s the whole aim of our charity. We realised, through my own personal experience, that this was the main issue, not just in Gibraltar but around the world – getting GPs to think pancreatic cancer sooner, because the symptoms are very vague, attributable to many other conditions and it’s often not seen as a possibility when considering a diagnosis. (Follow the link below to read more about pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms.) In November, our awareness month, we aim to focus on specific awareness training for medical professionals. We are a member of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition and we are invited to various seminars and conferences.
Last year, we funded GHA and Cancer Relief staff to attend these. This year, we are sending access to e-learning modules to the GPs and pharmacists for specialised CPD training. We also have exciting news to be announced soon. Unfortunately all our normal events this year haven’t been able to go ahead but we are still working to raise awareness and provide information and education to our local health professionals. We are also able to provide information and support to those affected by pancreatic cancer.
Since the creation of the charity in 2018, over half of patients diagnosed locally with pancreatic cancer have contacted the charity for guidance and support. My advice to those concerned about symptoms they are having is to ask their GPs to ‘think pancreatic cancer sooner’. Awareness is the most important tool we have in our aim to get pancreatic cancer diagnosed earlier so it can be treated sooner. If you or someone you love is worried about pancreatic cancer, Cancer Relief is here to support you.
From diagnosis, throughout your personal journey, we can provide professional care and dedicated support at every step. Call us on 20042392 or visit www.cancerrelief.gi