Imagine being diagnosed with a disease that would likely take your life in a year or less. Unfortunately, this is the reality for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, as 74 percent of patients die within one year of diagnosis. The disease has a five-year survival rate of just 6 percent, the lowest among major cancers.
What's worse is that there has been little progress in detecting and treating pancreatic cancer. Since the passage of the National Cancer Act more than 40 years ago, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has only improved from 2 percent to 6 percent. By comparison, the five-year survival rate for all cancers currently stands at an impressive 67 percent.
Pancreatic cancer is unique and requires specific action. The disease is so deadly because there are no early detection methods to diagnose it in its early stages, and there are no effective treatment options to treat the disease once it's been diagnosed.
After seeing how fast this monster cancer took my mother in only two months after diagnosis, I knew I couldn't just sit back and accept this as the way things have to remain. My mother always taught me to fight for what I believe in, and it's in her memory that I've been doing just that for the past six years.
Fortunately, there is hope. Congress is debating the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/H.R.733), which would require the National Cancer Institute to create a long-term and comprehensive strategic plan to address pancreatic cancer with the goal of improving early detection methods and developing new treatment options.
If Congress gets behind this bill, pancreatic cancer patients will finally have more options and ultimately more hope.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.