February is gall blabber and bile duct cancer awareness month.
This global initiative aims to raise awareness of these organs and associated rare cancers. Awareness raising (of the organs, cancers, signs and symptoms) is critical for the early diagnosis and treatment of the cancers.
This year it is estimated that over 2226 Australians will be diagnosed with either gallbladder or biliary tract cancer. There is no early detection test, and there is a five-year survival rate of just 18.3 per cent. There has never been a more important time to advocate for these cancers.
Bile Duct Cancer – also known as Biliary Cancer or Cholangiocarcinoma is considered a rare cancer with low survival rates and little recognition. Raising funds and awareness for Biliary cancer helps Pancare deliver personalised cancer support through our PanSupport services, increase awareness and amplify our advocacy. Raising awareness of Biliary cancer helps us work toward equity in experience and improved outcomes for all patients and their families.
Increases in survival rates for other cancers are correlated with significant investment and education over time. For there to be improvements in patient survival, there must be significant investment in research with a focus on improving early detection, new therapies and clinical trials that give patients living with cancer not just more time, but quality of life.
We believe, with the right level of awareness, funding and investment, substantial progress can be made to improve support for and survival rates of people living with these forgotten cancers.
As a valuable member of the Pancare community, we’d like to thank you for your ongoing support. You and your loved ones are our legacy – and you are our inspiration for creating real and lasting change.
We ask you to join Pancare this February in our mission to
DOUBLE SURVIVAL RATES
No Australian should be left to face these cancers alone.
By donating $40 today, you’ll be making a heartfelt impact, empowering patients and their loved ones with a Pancare My Care Kit- a resource developed by Pancare to give patients the Knowledge, Information and Tools to better understand a recent diagnosis, treatments and support them throughout their cancer experience.
Ways you can get involved this February:
💚 Share our posts throughout February to raise awareness
💚 Show your love and support to those fighting the battle
💚 Create a fundraiser in memory or support of a loved one here
💚 ‘Go Green’ and help show your support by purchasing a green ribbon from our Pancare shop here
Survival of biliary cancer is strongly tied to early diagnosis. However, early detection is difficult due to vague symptoms in its early stages which tend to worsen as the disease progresses.
Signs and Symptoms
Getting to know your gallbladder and bile ducts
The gallbladder and bile ducts form part of the digestive system, specifically the biliary system. The function of the gallbladder and bile ducts is to store and transport bile, which is a fluid that helps break down fats in food.
Bile is made from cholesterol, water, bile salts and bilirubin (a yellow pigment formed when red blood cells break down). Bile is made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until there are fats in the small intestine that need digesting.
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that sits under the liver. It stores bile that is made by the liver. The gallbladder is connected to the liver and small intestine by a series of tubes called bile ducts.
For more information on Biliary cancer – including symptoms, risk factors, treatment and nutrition, visit further PanSupport resources here
Dealing with the emotional impact of upper GI cancer
Finding out you have cancer may come as a shock and you may feel numb. You might also feel angry, sad, overwhelmed, scared, hopeful or lonely.
There is no right or wrong way to feel and it’s common to feel many different emotions.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone and there is lots of help and support available.
Through PanSupport, Pancare Foundation’s dedicated support, resource, and information service, we offer support to all Australians affected by upper GI cancers.
Whether it’s coping with a diagnosis, understanding treatment options, coping strategies for side effects, connecting with others, or social and emotional wellbeing counselling, our PanSupport team are there every step of the way providing dedicated support through every stage of your illness. All PanSupport services are free. Find the right support for you and your loved ones here.
Hope in Action
58 year old Grant Rutley is a typical Aussie bloke who loves his family, his sport and a barbecue. The father of five and grandfather of four says his life was turned upside down just over two years ago when he was diagnosed with a #rarecancer called #cholangiocarcinoma. At the time, doctors advised he had between six and nine months left to live.
“As I stand here today as a 3-year cancer survivor, I cannot stress enough the importance of talking. Of working though and finding your new normal. The sooner you connect with Pancare, the sooner you talk, the better off you will be. This is your journey and everyone is different” – Grant at our Unite for Hope event in October 2023.
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