A purple ribbon brings awareness to Pancreatic cancer. November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and it is asked to wear purple in order to raise awareness for this deadly disease.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult tumors to detect and diagnose early enough to perform surgery. Symptoms do not usually show up until the cancer has already spread. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Since 1998, the rates of pancreatic cancer have increased somewhat in men and women.
Pancreatic cancer has affected my life personally since it took my grandma from me in 2008. By the time my grandma’s tumor was found, it was the size of a grapefruit. She fought as long as she could but once the time came we had hospice come in. She got to spend her last few days at home in bed with all of her family surrounding her. I stayed with her until the very end and it is a night that I will never forget.
Since the passing of my grandmother, my aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was having gallbladder issues when they were able to notice the tumor. They were able to remove a portion of her pancreas and she is now recovering. Although a tumor has appeared again, it has not grown in over a year and her blood work has been good. We got so lucky that they caught it but if she wouldn’t have had the gall bladder problems, I don’t know if the outcome would have been the same.
November is a special month to me for these reasons. It is also the month of my grandmother’s birthday and I like to do whatever I can to help raise awareness for this disease in her honor. I am asking that everyone wears purple at least one day in November to increase awareness.