NEWPORT'S Transporter Bridge was lit in purple last night to mark World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

The landmark was one of many around the UK and beyond that were lit up to raise awareness of a disease that is the UK's fifth biggest cancer killer.

Around 10,000 pancreatic cancer diagnoses are made every year in the UK, and there are 9,000 deaths a year.

Pancreatic cancer often presents late in terms of symptoms, and thus diagnosis and prognosis is often poor.

There can also be difficulties around surgical treatment, and the disease receives less than two per cent of total cancer funding. The survival rate - two per cent after five years 40 years ago - has risen only slightly, to seven per cent.

Eighty per cent of patients die within a year of diagnosis, less than 10 per cent of patients can have surgery, and there is no early test.

Andrew Park, 73, of Newport, died in September, just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His family has since raised more than £11,000 for research into the disease, and were at the Transporter Bridge last night to mark the occasion.


His wife Mary said it is an opportunity for people to remember loved ones who have died of the disease, and to raise awareness of symptoms and the need for funding for research.

"We are supporters of the Transporter Bridge, and it is lovely to have been able to do this in Andy's memory," she said.

"It is an awful disease, and if it can happen so quickly to a fit sportsman who looked after himself, then it can happen to anyone."

Mr and Mrs Park's daughters Ellen Park and Sally Mogg, and their children Lewis Schmeits and Katie Mogg, were also present, along with a small group of family friends.

Ellen Park said it is vital that awareness be raised about pancreatic cancer and its symptoms, and that as much money as possible be raised for research.

"If there could be an early test for pancreatic cancer, that would be fantastic. What happened to my dad was awful, and it is happening to far too many others," she said.

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