November Ends, Awareness Doesn't
Today is the last day of Pancreatic Awareness Month. But, I hope that awareness about this lethal disease doesn't continue to sit on the back burner.
- By this time next year approximately 33,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Depending on the extent of the tumor at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally regarded as poor, with few victims still alive five years after diagnosis, and complete remission still extremely rare.
- Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is difficult because the symptoms are so non-specific and varied. Common symptoms include: pain in the upper abdomen that typically radiates to the back and is relieved by leaning forward, loss of appetite, significant weight loss and painless jaundice. All of these symptoms can have multiple other causes. Therefore, pancreatic cancer is often not diagnosed until it is advanced.
- Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include: age, male gender, African ethnicity, smoking, diets high in meat, obesity, history of diabetes or chronic pancreatitis, family history, gingivitis & periodontal disease.
- Treatment of pancreatic cancer depends on the stage of the cancer.
- Prognosis. Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer typically have a poor prognosis partly because the cancer usually causes no symptoms early on, leading to metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Median survival from diagnosis is around 3 to 6 months; 5-year survival is much less than 5%. With 32,180 new diagnoses in the United States every year, and 31,800 deaths, mortality approaches 99%, giving pancreatic cancer the highest fatality rate of all cancers and the fourth highest cancer killer in the United States among both men and women. (Souce: wikipedia.com)
How YOU can help raise awareness:
Click HERE . Folks this is a scary & dangerous disease. NO ONE is safe... the youngest diagnosed victim was AGE 7. My mom, diagnosed at age 57, had NONE of the risk factors mentioned above. I ENCOURAGE everyone reading this blog to encourage your congressmen & women to support cancer funding ESPECIALLY pancreatic research funding to help diagnosis early. It's so easy... here's how.
Even CELEBRITIES aren't immune. Here are some famous people who have suffered from pancreatic cancer.
- Jack Benny (1894-1974) - famous comedian & radio, television and film actor
- Lillian Gordon Carer (1898-1983)- mother of President Jimmy Carter
- Joan Crawford (1905-1977)- Academy Award winning actress and named one of the Greatest Female Actresses of All Time by the American Film Institute
- Fred Gwynne (1926-1993)- actor who played Herman Munster from The Munsters
- Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947)- three term Mayor of New York City and namsake of LaGuardia Airport
- Michael Landon (1936-1991)- actor best know as Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie & Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza
- Henry Mancini (1924-1994)- Academy Award winning composer, conductor & arranger. Most famous for The Pink Panther
- Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)- famous Italian tenor opera singer... more recently known in modern music as one of The Three Tenors
- Donna Reed (1921-1986)- famous actress & star of The Donna Reed Show. This time of year we'll see her as Mary Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life