November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (world-wide).
- It is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada
- Silent killer – it’s difficult to detect and spreads quickly.
- Vague symptoms including back/abdominal pain, jaundice and nausea usually appear after the cancer is at an advanced stage making it difficult to treat
- There are no detection tools to diagnose this disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.
- Surgery is best for long term survival, however, only 15% of patients are diagnosed early enough to be eligible for surgery (my Dad is not).
- It is the only leading cancer killer with a 5 year survival rate still in the single digits at 6% and the survival rate has not improved in the last 40 years.
- It has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers
- 75% die within the first year of their diagnosis (most within the first 3 – 6 months)
- 94% of patients die within 5 years.
- Approximately 52% of all patients are diagnosed when the disease has spread to surrounding organs leaving little hope for survival (only 2% will survive five years). My Dad’s has spread to his liver, making him ineligible for radiation therapy and surgery.
Isn’t it insane that there hasn’t been improvement in 40 years? Isn’t it crazy that no one knows November is Pancreatic Awareness Month? I’m no activist, but I will do my best to inform anyone I can about this, and when I’m back on my feet financially, I will certainly be making donations for research.
Find out more here: Pancreatic Cancer Canada