It has been 40 years since the enactment of the 1971 National Cancer Act and over the past decade there has been significant improvement in overall cancer survival rates. Sadly pancreatic cancer survival rates are not reflected in this. In fact this insidious disease, which is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, has seen an increase of cases and deaths since 1998 and remains the only cancer that still has a five-year survival rate in the single digits at six percent. This year alone this terrible disease will claim the lives of 550 people who live in the State of Connecticut.
Pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones cannot wait another 40 years. It is essential that we make research into pancreatic cancer a priority in this country so that real progress can be made toward better treatment options, early detection, and a cure.
I am a volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in Connecticut, and am helping to accomplish that goal by introducing Awareness Proclamations signed by Governor Malloy as well as East Haven, CT that recognize November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
I lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer in March 2011 after thirteen months of him fighting a “terminally ill” diagnosis because there is no early detection or a cure. I am volunteering for this cause so that others will not have to endure the same. If you are interested in our efforts, please visit www.pancan.org.
These proclamations will raise awareness about this devastating disease and encourage our elected officials to make fighting pancreatic cancer a priority. We must support our fellow citizens who have been afflicted by this disease and advocate for greater awareness and more resources to fight pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network volunteer