Silent and aggressive.
Those are two words commonly used to describe pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease that will strike 44,000 Americans this year. That same disease will claim 37,000 lives.
It has just a 6 percent five-year survival rate, the lowest among all major cancer killers. And according to a recent report, the number of deaths attributed to the disease is on the rise, and it’s anticipated to become the second-largest cancer killer in the United States by 2020.
According to the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness and understanding of pancreatic cancer, the disease is one of the most difficult to detect and diagnose early. In most cases, symptoms develop after the cancer has already spread, resulting in a diagnosis that is made when the cancer is in advanced stages.
Sadly, advocates who work to promote research of the deadly disease say it is under-represented and under-funded.
But that’s where groups like the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Foundation come in. The organization’s mission, like so many others like it, is to reach the community with information about pancreatic cancer and make an impact to stimulate research for early detection and advance cancer treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Efforts don’t stop there. There is a bill before the U.S. Senate called the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act) that addresses better allocation of funding for pancreatic cancer and other abdominal cancers.
Earlier this year, when the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill, Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, applauded the move, calling it a “victory” and “a testament to what can be achieved when a group of people are fiercely determined to accomplish a common goal.”
“While we still have much work to do before making verifiable scientific advances against pancreatic cancer, this is an extremely important step forward,” Fleshman said. “Today, we have given tomorrow’s patients hope.”
Hope. That’s an encouraging word among such bitter statistics.
Hope for more funding.
Hope for more research.
Hope for a cure.
We hope more people take the time to learn about the disease. It’s especially important in November, which is recognized as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Cancer, no matter what type, can be a devastating diagnosis. And until there is a cure, work remains to be done.
That’s what makes the groups, volunteers and agencies working to promote the need for more research and funding so critical. Their tireless efforts will ultimately make a difference in the lives of those who are diagnosed with any form of cancer.
The Senate version of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act will be considered in this lame-duck session of Congress. We hope it is passed swiftly, giving even more hope to those patients who need it.
Silent and aggressive.
Student loan fix shouldn’t require huge political battle
College is a time when young men and women hit the books to prepare themselves to enter the workforce in their chosen profession.
College-level math and science and literature are tough courses.
Appropriate rationale, safety go away in face of drug addiction
The No. 1 prescribed drug among Medicare patients in West Virginia isn’t for heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
No, it’s the very powerful narcotic hydrocodone-acetaminophen, known by brand names like Lortab, Lorcet, Dolorex and Vicodin.
Three Rivers Festival offers chance for city to celebrate
What were you doing 34 years ago?
That was when the West Virginia Three Rivers Festival was born.
It didn’t start out as the Three Rivers Festival. It actually started over Labor Day weekend in 1980 and it was called Septemberfest.
Seizure of AP phone records is an insult to an independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
We change — at least a little — after each attack
How well do we remember the world as it was before 9/11?
Do we remember what airline security was like? Life before the Patriot Act? What was the school environment like before school shooting at Columbine and Sandy Hook?
Record-breaking years for Pierpont, FSU give students strong opportunities
When people make the decision to further their education — whether they’re going to college immediately after high school or heading back to the classroom after several years of being in the workforce — there are plenty of potential obstacles to consider.
Sound policy would give coal a chance, not erase challenges
It’s no secret that the region’s coal industry faces challenges from many sides.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, through a report it began releasing last month, forecast that although total U.S. coal production is expected to rise after 2016, Appalachian coal will not.
Peace Officers Memorial Day: Honoring those who keep us safe
Today, all U.S. and West Virginia state flags will be lowered to half staff in memory of the officers who died in the line of duty, making this state and this country a safer place to live, for Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Each and every day should be Mother’s Day
Anna Jarvis, from our neighboring city of Grafton, began the tradition that on the second Sunday of May, mothers and motherhood would receive a national celebration and recognition.
From those early local beginnings, Mother’s Day has evolved and become one of the most celebrated days of the year.
Teens need co-pilots to navigate social media
It’s tough to be the parent of a teen.
Heck, it’s tough to be the parent of a preteen. Ten is the new 15 these days. Fifteen is the new 21. Kids grow up so fast, and we have to fight them every step of the way to make sure they’re not growing up too fast. It’s a constant question of whether something is age-appropriate and the constant response of “all of my other friends are doing it.”
- More Opinion Headlines
- Student loan fix shouldn’t require huge political battle