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A Few Words About Pancreatic Cancer

I think Aretha’s cousin is in denial when she says the Diva will be touring again in no time. I wondered just how many people survive pancreatic cancer. I’ve survived two family members felled by the disease. I notice it seems to run in President Carter’s family.

I went to Wikipedia and looked up Deaths from pancreatic cancer that returned 200 names. In a related search, I looked up Survivors of pancreatic cancer. That search returned 7 names. Taking the path of least resistance, I looked at the much shorter Survivors list to see if I recognized any of the names; I recognized all seven. Next, I went through the Deaths list and recognized 96 of the 200 names and related pages listed.

Deaths from pancreatic cancer make up only 6% of all cancer deaths. Perhaps this explains why it is the least funded of the cancers. If pancreatic cancer had feelings, I bet it would feel like an orphan. The survival rate is low, life expectancy with working treatment is 5 years. The most lethal cancer there is and I bet most people don’t realize how it has robbed us of some pretty interesting people.

Go to Wikipedia and look up FM-2030, Zelma Henderson, Michael Whitney Straight, Hilda Simms, Hazel Scott, David “Fathead” Newman, Myles Brand, Frank Herbert, Vivien Thomas, Luciano Pavarotti, Catherine Baker Knoll, Lorraine Hansberry, Randy Pausch, Brock Peters, or Patrick Swayze. All were felled by this cancer that has existed as long as any of the others, is much more lethal than any of the others, but doesn’t command enough funding to develop early screening and diagnostic tests, proven preventive strategies, and at the very least, a media budget to educate and disseminate information to people about the insidious nature of pancreatic cancer.

 

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

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