Malmesbury Abbey turned purple for World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Malmesbury Abbey joined other iconic landmarks around the world such as London’s Trafalgar Square and Sydney Opera House on Thursday 16th November to show support for World Pancreatic Cancer Day by going purple.

Residents gathered around Malmesbury’s historic Abbey as the purple lights came on at 7pm. Together these landmarks glowed in support of pancreatic cancer awareness month (November) and remembered those who have sadly died of the disease. The Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer campaign aims to spread awareness of the disease. Having claimed the lives of British actors John Hurt and Alan Rickman as well as Apple CEO Steve Jobs – pancreatic cancer is now the UK’s fifth biggest cause of cancer death.

Organisers were thrilled by the turn out – and hope this has highlighted the cause to others. As Diana Crowe, church warden at Malmesbury Abbey said: “Pancreatic cancer suffers from a chronic lack of awareness and lack of funding”.

Despite being the UK’s fifth biggest cancer killer, the disease has historically been underfunded. In 2013 pancreatic cancer received just 1.0 per cent of the UK cancer research budget per year; in 2014 this rose to just 3.1%. Around 9,600 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year. Most people are diagnosed when it’s too late for surgery and only have weeks or months to live. Survival rates have not improved in over 40 years and are less than 7%.

Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer is supported by the charities Pancreatic Cancer UK, Pancreatic Cancer Action, Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, Planets and CORE.

Source: Cancer Research UK

Source: NCRI 2015/2016

For more information. Please visit the following sites:

Pancreatic Cancer UK http://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/

Pancreatic Cancer Action www.panact.org

Pancreatic Cancer Scotland https://www.pancanscot.org/

CORE http://corecharity.org.uk/

Planets http://www.planetscharity.org/

Operation Henry www.operationhenry.org