The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

Opinion

November 23, 2012

Passage of bill would spark hope in battle against pancreatic cancer

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.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads