For the last six years every October everythin turns pink. So much so that you can’t even turn on a football game without seeing every player covered in pink. I know, I know, real men wear pink. We get it. In a marketing aspect we get it also. Its comical and easy to market saving second base, save the ta-tas or even yes these are fake my real ones tried to kill me. With early detection tests and research breast cancer has steadily been declining since the 90s. Well before anyone ever had a t-shirt that said big or small lets save them all. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that breast cancer or any other cancer for that matter is very serious. I dont believe anyone would argue that fact, but can we please start shedding some light on other cancers that are affecting lives in America? Lung, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancers are also in the top five most deadly cancers in America. Why is there no highly commercialized awareness for these? November is Pancreatic Awareness Month. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. An estimated 44,000 people will be diagnosed in the United States and approximately 37,000 will die from the disease. Because there is no early detection nearly 74% of patients die within the first year of being diagnosed. Also because of this, pancreatic cancer is estimated to move from the fourth leading cancer deaths to second as early as 2015. Treatments for this disease are limited. Only 15% of patients are candidates for surgery and there are only three chemotherapy treatments approved through the FDA. The National Comprehensive Cancer Networks Guidelines for treatment are clinical trials. The National Cancer Institute chose to spend only $99 million in 2011 on research for pancreatic cancer. Only 2.3% of the NCIs $43 billion research budget for the fiscal year. Breast cancer got $625,059,909. Right now there are marvelous things happening that are stepping stones towards a brighter future with those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On September 19 the United States House of Representatives passed unanimously the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (H.R. 733), formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act. The bill requires the National Cancer Institute to create a long-term plan including evaluating its current efforts in the disease and making recommendations on ways to accelerate progress and improve outcomes. The only way this happens is if you and I write, call, or email our Senators and State Representatives. This website gets you in touch with whomever you need to talk to: http://www.pancan.org/section_get_involved/advocate/advocacy_action_center.php.
The biggest way you can help is to become an advocate for pancreatic cancer. Get involved with your local affiliate. There are over 75 cities in the United States with active affiliations. Volunteer your time to raise awareness, organize fund raising events, talk to your health care professionals, and contact your media. Maybe next year around this time you can turn on your tube to see big burly men all dressed in purple. With your help we can make purple the new pink.
For more information please go to http://www.pancan.org/index.php.