(BC Legislature/Twitter)

For the first time ever, the BC Legislature building will be lit up in purple to mark World Pancreatic Cancer day this week.

The parliament building will join 80 organizations from over 30 countries across six continents to increase awareness for pancreatic cancer on Thursday, November 21st.

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World Pancreatic Cancer Day is observed on the third Thursday of November to inspire action, awareness, and increased research funding for the world’s deadliest type of cancer, with the lowest survival rate among all major cancers.

Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumour.

For the most part, causes of pancreatic cancer are unknown, but the likelihood of developing it are higher among those who inherited genetic mutations, have family history of pancreatic or other types of cancer, have diabetes, pancreatitis, are over 60 years old, or smokers.

Every day, more than 1,257 people worldwide are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and an estimated 1,184 will die from the disease.

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Symptoms of this type of cancer do not typically manifest in the early stages, making it difficult to diagnose until after it has metastasized.

“Because of the short time frame people generally have after late diagnosis, it becomes a very insular, intimate, family time, and, unlike other cancers, it never gets the real face advocacy it needs,” Victoria resident Christina Reid tells Victoria Buzz.

“I speak from experience, my mum died 8 years ago from this disease, and I’m only now becoming more passionate about trying to make sure others have a fighting chance, having had a friend recently diagnosed and facing the same battle.”

Those who wish to participate in World Pancreatic Cancer Day are encouraged to wear purple on Thursday, November 21st, and share information about the disease available at www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org.