Pancreatic cancer 'envy' campaigner Kerry Harvey dies

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A "brave and courageous" woman who was one of the faces of a controversial pancreatic cancer campaign has died at the age of 24.

Kerry Harvey died on Saturday morning, the charity Pancreatic Cancer Action said.

The "envy" campaign involved patients saying they would rather have breast, cervical or testicular cancer.

It was designed to raise awareness about how poor the chances of survival are with pancreatic cancer.

It has a five-year survival rate of 3%, compared with 85% for breast cancer, 97% for testicular cancer and 67% for cervical cancer.

Ms Harvey, who was diagnosed in April 2013, said she wished she had breast cancer.

Early signs of pancreatic cancer

  • weight loss
  • stomach pain
  • jaundice
  • lack of appetite
  • back pain

The comment sparked a furore and drew criticism from breast cancer groups.

However, in subsequent interviews she defended that stance.

In a statement, Pancreatic Cancer Action, said: "She was a brave and courageous young woman who touched so many hearts with her determination to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer despite being very ill herself.

"She devoted a significant amount of her own time trying to raise the profile of the disease that she, like many other pancreatic cancer patients, had not heard of before her diagnosis.

"Kerry campaigned with selfless vigour and, despite facing criticism, wanted to help others by encouraging earlier diagnosis and attract more funds for research.

"We will never forget Kerry who will be dearly missed, and remain in the hearts and thoughts of all of us at Pancreatic Cancer Action."

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