Every year, World Pancreatic Cancer Day (WPCD) is observed on the third Thursday of November around the globe. The 2020 campaign which falls on November 19 aims to highlight the need for greater awareness, funding and research for pancreatic cancer. Sponsored by the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (consisting of more than 80 organizations from over 30 countries and six continents), the one-day event is intended to spread global awareness and inspire action, bringing greater attention, awareness, and better outcomes to this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer begins in the cells and tissues of the pancreas. In most cases, this type of cancer is rarely detected in its early stages when it is more curable. This is simply because the condition does not cause any specific symptoms until it has spread to other organs or reaches an advanced stage. Treatment modalities include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of any of these modalities. Gastroenterologists or surgical oncologists who treat pancreatic cancer patients can rely on professional medical billing and coding companies to meet their claim submission tasks to ensure accurate reimbursement.

The single-day campaign is the perfect time for communities around the globe to come together to renew their dedication and help spread awareness about this deadly cancer. It is a global day of action that gives a unique opportunity to the general public to learn about the symptoms and risks associated with the disease and the urgent need for early detection. Pancreatic cancers are classified into two – depending on whether it affects the exocrine or endocrine functions. The exact factors that cause pancreatic cancer are not known. However, physicians have identified a wide range of factors like smoking, inherited gene mutations, chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), diabetes, obesity and family history of pancreatic cancer that may potentially increase the risk of this type of cancer. As the symptoms of this condition becomes visible only during the late stages and is quite hard to diagnose, pancreatic cancer is often termed as a silent disease. Common symptoms include – abdominal pain that radiates to your back, light-colored stools, dark colored urine, jaundice, unintended weight loss or loss of appetite, blood clots, fatigue and itchy skin.

The 2020 one-day campaign aims to empower, educate, and inspire communities far and wide who have been touched by pancreatic cancer. It is a perfect opportunity to shine a light on this disease, to elevate the voices to raise awareness, and invite others to answer the call-to-action. It is a time to educate the world by sharing stories and raising money for research.

Diagnosis of the condition begins with a physical examination and a detailed medical history review. If the physician suspects that a patient has pancreatic cancer, he/she may perform several diagnostic tests like – Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan to visualize internal organs. Laboratory tests like blood tests, urine tests and stool tests may also be conducted. Biopsy may be performed wherein the physician would remove a small sample of tissue for testing. Once the diagnostic tests are completed, the results would help the physician determine the presence of cancerous cells, and the extent and stage of cancer. Treatment modalities include – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of any of these – which may again depend on the stage and location of the cancer as well as the overall health and personal preferences of the patient.

Oncologists and other treating physicians must document the symptoms, diagnosis, screening procedures and other treatments administered using the right medical codes. Medical billing outsourcing companies can help providers with timely claim submissions for accurate reimbursement. ICD-10 diagnosis codes for pancreatic cancer include –

  • C25 Malignant neoplasm of pancreas
  • C25.0 Malignant neoplasm of head of pancreas
  • C25.1 Malignant neoplasm of body of pancreas
  • C25.2 Malignant neoplasm of tail of pancreas
  • C25.3 Malignant neoplasm of pancreatic duct
  • C25.4 Malignant neoplasm of endocrine pancreas
  • C25.7 Malignant neoplasm of other parts of pancreas
  • C25.8 Malignant neoplasm of overlapping sites of pancreas
  • C25.9 Malignant neoplasm of pancreas, unspecified

It was in the year 2013 that pancreatic cancer patient advocacy groups and organizations across the world came together in Geneva to discuss the possibility of working together collaboratively to spread awareness about pancreatic cancer on a global level. An international committee was formed and the members of the committee collectively decided that a special day must be initiated to spread awareness about the disease. The committee launched the “World Pancreatic Cancer Day (WPCD)” for the first time on November 13, 2014. With each passing year, the scope of the campaign widened and its visibility and engagement continued to attain considerable mileage across the world. The huge success of the campaign made the international committee go one step further and launch a formal “World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC)” in May 2016 with more than 40 organizations from over 20 countries across the globe. Now, the WPCC has more than 80 organizations as members from over 30 countries in six continents.

As part of the campaign, people all over the world can join for a virtual event, share facts about pancreatic cancer, share individual patient cancer stories via social media platforms, create a fundraiser or make donations to create a lasting impact. Healthcare organizations and individuals across the world may wear purple or light up their buildings in purple color to support this campaign. People can participate in this campaign by sharing their selfies or group photos wearing purple and sharing it via social media platforms. People can post images under the hashtag #ItsAboutTime – to know the risks of Pancreatic Cancer.

Take part in “World Pancreatic Cancer Day (WPCD)” campaign on November 19, 2020. Join the fight against raising awareness about pancreatic cancer – its symptoms, risk factors and the need for early detection.