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November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. This cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Although decades behind other cancers in research discoveries and treatment options, pancreatic cancer receives the least amount of federal funding of all major cancer killers, approximately only 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest relative survival rate of all major cancers: 94 percent of patients will die within five years of diagnosis and only 6 percent will survive more than five years; 74 percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages, when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.
Five months ago I lost my brother-in-law, Jim Leclere, age 57, to pancreatic cancer. He passed away after many months of illness and just a month after his diagnosis of this cancer.
To honor Jim and the many others who have fought or who are currently fighting this disease, my sisters and I recently participated in a 5-kilometer run-walk called Purple Stride in Cincinnati.
We raised a total of $1,175 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, which is nation-wide and whose mission is to advance research, support patients and create hope for all those affected by this devastating disease.
We would like to thank everyone for their support, especially Century Aluminum, Jim’s former employer. The company contributed $500 of the total funds raised.
For more information on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, go to its website at www.pancan.org.
Thank you again.
Karen Harth, Tell City