Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network needs 8,120 signatures. Will you help?

Pancreatic cancer isn't getting the attention it deserves–not from the federal government and not from medical researchers. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. The number of cases is increasing, but the investment in research for early detection, effective treatment options and eventually a cure lags far behind the other leading cancer killers.

We need to change that–and you can help. Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially in the past 30 years. We made progress on breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer because people demanded early detection tools, effective treatment options and critical federal funding for focused research. People like you can make a difference.

You can raise awareness about pancreatic cancer. Join with friends and family to be a strong voice to draw the attention of our elected officials, astute medical researchers, the media and the general public.

Together, we can create national momentum. We can make a difference; a big difference. Now is the time to do it.

Approximately 116 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each day. In recognition of November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has issued a challenge to secure 8,120 signatures to support the 8,120 people who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between the launch of the campaign (September 22), and the end of November. Since the challenge was issued, over 5,000 have joined in the fight—it's time for you to join them. You and others like you can be their voice in the fight to find a cure while they fight for their lives.

Doctors like me look to perform medical miracles every day. They don't just happen, though. They come about through the hard work and commitment of people like you–a community of dedicated people who aren't in the operating room, but who play a role in every case of cancer that goes into remission and in the life of every survivor. I lost my own father to this horrific disease. I know how important the work of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is and the difference you, and your family and friends can make.

We're trying to add people to the fight by the end of November. Will you ask your friends and family to join us? I will be asking mine.

When we know more about pancreatic cancer, we'll know more about how to fight it and end it. Thank you for playing a critical role in this important effort.

Mark Talamonti, MDNorthShore University HealthSystemChairman of the Medical Advisory Council - Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

1According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 42,470 individuals will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009. This translates into an average of over 116 people being diagnosed with the disease each day.