November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.As most of you know I lost my grandmother to Pancreatic Cancer on September 9th 2007.
Did you know that Pancreatic Cancer:
- Is still the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
* In America, one in three women, and one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
It is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death among 40-59 year old men.
Approximately 37,170 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year in the United States and 33,370 people will die from it. The number of Americans diagnosed each year of pancreatic cancer continues to rise unlike other leading cancers where an investment in early detection has led to a decrease in cancer incidences.
For all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the five year survival rate is only 5%; the lowest survival rate of all major cancers.
The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just 3-6 months. 52% of pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed with metastatic.
Pancreatic cancer affects both men and women of all races and varying ages. Men are 20% more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than women. African Americans are 40-50% more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than Caucasians.
- Receives the least amount of Federal research dollars among all leading cancers.
* In 2006, an estimated $66.7 million dollars of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) cancer research investment was spent on pancreatic cancer research. This is just 1% of the NCI’s $4.8 billion dollar cancer research budget for 2006.
The country’s investment in cancer research over the last 20 years has led to a slight drop in 2006 in overall deaths due to cancer. This fact illustrates that our investment in cancer research is moving science forward in the most common cancers. However, the lack of progress in pancreatic cancer proves that we must continue to make federal funding of cancer research a priority.
- Gets little public attention.
* What does public awareness mean to the pancreatic cancer community? Raising awareness can move federal research dollars and change public policy. It can lead to more funds raised for research and patient services.
I ask you, my friends to help spread awareness. Every little bit helps. Help educate your loved ones and cherish all the time that you have with them. You never know when the end may come.
For more information on Pancreatic Cancer or how to donate, please check the following web site : http://www.pancan.org/