Purple Nomads taking the fight to Pancreatic cancer.

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser

A Melbourne couple are raising awareness in their travels for the silent killer, pancreatic cancer.

In 2017, 3271 Australians will be diagnosed with the disease and only 8% of those will survive the silent killer.

November 16 marked the beginning of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day and Month, and Albany has seen its own flavour of public appeal.

Dubbed the ‘Purple nomads’, Melbourne couple John Broakhouis and June Hutton have been patrolling the streets of Albany spreading awareness of the disease in custom made purple t-shirts with dyed purple hair.

“We’re just doing what we can, spraying our hair purple, wearing the t-shirts and talking to people on the street about the disease,” said Ms Hutton.

“It’s been described as the silent killer, because not many people even know what the pancreas is, yet alone what symptoms of pancreatic cancer are.”

Pancreatic cancer is usually found using multiple testing methods including blood tests, MRIs, tissue samples and ultrasounds, often making it too late for patients once they’ve been diagnosed.

Both John and June have been personally affected by the disease and how aggressively it attacks the body.

“it’s awful to lose a loved one so quickly, so suddenly and so young, we just hope that in doing this we can help prevent just one other person from dying,” Said Ms Hutton.

“I think when you’re alerted to what the symptoms are, you are aware you might be suffering from pancreatic cancer, and are more likely to go see your GP.”

Pancreatic cancer shares several symptoms with common illnesses such as the flu, including loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss and jaundice; making it extremely hard to identify by those affected and medical professionals.

The cancer is found in the organ lying behind the lower part of the stomach.

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