In response to Bonnie Franklin’s death, it is with sadness to hear that yet another public figure has succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Other notable public figures include Patrick Swayze, Steve Jobs, Luciano Pavarotti, and Michael Landon, to name a few. Unfortunately, Bonnie will be just one of approximately 38,000 US citizens who will die from this silent killer in 2013.
The “early warning” signs and detection of pancreatic cancer are the same as they were 40 years ago – they don’t exist.
Known as the silent killer, the first signs of this disease typically provide the patient with only six months to live, and much of that time will be in significant pain. In fact, of the top twelve cancers in the US, pancreatic cancer has the highest death ratio. This means that once detected, the odds of survival are slim and that death comes all too quickly.
In fact, pancreatic cancer is so silent that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) only provides 2 percent of its funding for pancreatic cancer, the No. 4 cancer killer. This simply adds to the tragedy because pancreatic cancer is predicted to become the No. 2 cause of cancer death in only a few years!
This silence needs to and can change. There are national & local organizations that are trying to raise awareness and funding, including the Lebo-DeSantie Center at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. On behalf of the Lebo-DeSantie Center, several awareness and fund raising activities are held throughout the year, including the amazing to be held again this year on Nov. 23 at the Fairfield University Quick Center.
The public can sway the opinion of researchers, politicians, and the NCI to provide more funding. We need your help to keep pancreatic cancer from becoming the No. 2 cause of cancer deaths in theUS by making it the No. 1 priority in the eyes of researchers, politicians, and the NCI. Please contact your local state representatives, congresspersons & senators and request that more research funding be provided for the early detection and cure of Pancreatic Cancer.