The Times West Virginian


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.

Text Only
  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads