Biliary cancer awareness campaign leads to increase in patients receiving support from Pancare Foundation
To help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of biliary cancer and the overall state of biliary cancer in Australia, Pancare identified the month of February, global Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer awareness month, as an opportunity to begin its National Awareness Campaign for Biliary Cancer.
Pancare utilised funding from Rod’s Accelerator for Biliary Cancer fund, a Highland Foundation Initiative, to support the campaign.
Biliary cancer today
Each year, almost 1200 Australians are diagnosed with biliary cancer – or cholangiocarcinoma – a rare and little-known cancer that affects the bile ducts, and almost 300 Australians will die. There is no early detection test, and there is a five-year survival rate of just 20 per cent.
Biliary cancer is often only diagnosed when the cancer is already advanced with surgery usually the only chance for a cure. Sadly, more than two-thirds of people with biliary cancer cannot have surgery because the cancer has spread or is inoperable.
Raising national awareness
Pancare used global Gall Bladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month in February to announce a package of initiatives to improve diagnosis, survival rates and quality of life for people living with biliary cancer.
The initiatives include a new fellowship for research into biliary cancer, a new biliary cancer clinical trial, funding for a biliary cancer research program and an animation detailing common symptoms of biliary cancer, aimed at improving awareness of biliary cancer in the general community.
Biliary cancer in the news
The campaign aimed to significantly raise awareness of biliary cancers among health professionals and the general population over the awareness month period and highlight the continued need for funding research into biliary cancer.
Two of our inspirational patients, Jareen and David, shared their stories, which highlighted the personal impacts of the cancers, and the struggles faced by those diagnosed with this rare cancer.
The campaign achieved widespread, national media coverage across print, digital, radio and television. Key outlets that covered the story included Herald Sun, ABC Radio Tasmania, and WIN News with an approximate reach of over 1.5 million Australians nationally.
The newly created ‘Signs and symptoms of biliary cancer’ animation has also been viewed over 16,000 times since publication on social media networks.
Pancare providing support for Australians diagnosed with biliary cancer
As a result of the campaign, Pancare’s dedicated support, resource, and information service, PanSupport, saw the number of biliary cancer patients and carers receiving support increase by 33% over the month of February.
The PanSupport service is available to all families impacted by pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers. With a team of dedicated specialists in upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer care, PanSupport is available to support Australians diagnosed with an upper GI cancer in a variety of ways. From coping with a diagnosis, understanding your treatment options, managing symptoms to nurturing your emotional health, the PanSupport team offers practical ways to help across the course of a cancer journey from diagnosis, through to treatment and beyond.
If you or a loved one would like to speak to one of our PanSupport team, please get in touch.
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