Pancreatic cancer survivor to set up support group with Pancare

On Christmas Eve, 2013 Steve Pendry was given the devastating news that his pancreatic cancer was inoperable.

“After numerous bouts of chemotherapy and radiation over the next year, Steve’s cancer became operable and he underwent a Whipple procedure, ‘where surgeons removed the head of my pancreas, part of my small intestine as well as other parts of my digestive system’, Mr Pendry said.

The operation was followed by six weeks of radiotherapy and additional chemotherapy treatments until December 2014.

Since then, Steve has had no treatment and is now a survivor of the insidious cancer that takes the lives of more than 2,800 Australian men and women each year.

Steve knows firsthand how difficult a cancer diagnosis can be and has decided to work with Pancare Foundation to set up a support group for people affected by pancreatic cancer.

“While many support groups exist in South Australia for specific types of cancer, there is currently no formal support group for pancreatic cancer patients, their families and carers”.

Over 3,000 Australians will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, which is also one of the most difficult cancers to treat – which shows in its shocking 7% survival rate, one of the lowest of any cancer.

“Because each form of cancer has a unique set of characteristics and treatments, the nature of the support required by patients and families can vary,” said Steve.

Working with Pancare Foundation, a national NFP established to increase survival and support those affected by the insidious disease, Steve is now on his way to establishing South Australia’s first pancreatic cancer support group.

“This is a place where patients, their families and carers can come together to discuss how they are feeling, what works for them and what doesn’t and to get advice from people in the same situation”, said Steve.

Pancare CEO, Barry Westhorpe said that the introduction of a support group in Adelaide was an exciting moment for Pancare, as this is the Foundation’s first expansion of their patient support groups out of Victoria – with the aim to establish other groups nationally.

“We’re so pleased that Steve is so passionate about bringing patients together; a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be overwhelming for many people and we hope this group may take off some of the pressure involved for patients and their families”.

For more information please contact Pancare Foundation on 1300 881 698 or email support@pancare.org.au.