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Pancreatic cancer awareness needed to help end disease

Dear editor,

With the recent passing of prominent American figures, such as actor Patrick Swayze and NCAA President Myles Brand, pancreatic cancer has been in the national spotlight yet many people don’t realize the severity of the disease and the urgent need for early detection methods and effectivetreatment options.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in our country and the most lethal among leading cancer killers with a five year survival rate of just 5 percent. 76 percent of patients die within the first 12 months of diagnosis because there are no early detection methods and the disease is often diagnosed when it has spread to other organs.

My father, Elmer Dildy, was diagnosed with this cancer on Sept. 4 and unfortunately passed away on Sept 2. Within that short period of time I learned as much as possible about this disease. In most cases, by the time a person feels effects of this disease and is diagnosed, surgery is not an option because it has already spread to other organs because of the aggressiveness of this cancer.

As November nears, and we commemorate National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, now, more than ever we must KNOW IT. FIGHT IT. END IT. Pancreatic cancer has long been overlooked and under-funded among the leading top five cancer killers.

I volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nationwide network of people dedicated to advancing research and supporting patients. You can be a part of the movement to bring hope to those affected by the disease.

Visit www.pancan.org to learn how to get involved today.

Together we can make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

KNOW IT. FIGHT IT. END IT.

Sincerely,

Dana L Phillips

Valley Grande