Letter to the editor | Pancreatic cancer’s toll

November 13, 2013 

It is unacceptable that there is a cancer for which the relative five-year survival rate is still in the single digits, at just 6 percent, particularly given that the overall five-year relative survival for all cancers is now 68 percent.

Even more alarming is that pancreatic cancer is anticipated to move from the fourth- to the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. by 2020.

This year alone, this terrible disease will claim the lives of 1,950 people in Pennsylvania.

Pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones cannot wait any longer.

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 grateful to State College for introducing an awareness proclamation that recognizes November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

The proclamation also will raise awareness about this devastating disease and encourage our elected officials to make fighting pancreatic cancer a priority.

We must support those who have been afflicted by this disease and advocate for greater awareness and more resources to fight pancreatic cancer.

Pauline Schill, Ebensburg

The writer is a volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

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