Effort needed to address pancreatic cancer

It is unacceptable that there is a cancer for which the relative five-year survival rate is still in the single digits at just six percent, particularly when you consider that the overall five-year relative survival for all cancers is now 68 percent. Even more alarming pancreatic cancer is anticipated to move from the fourth to the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. by 2020.

Pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones cannot wait any longer. It is essential that we make research into pancreatic cancer a priority in this country so that real progress can be made toward better treatment options, early detection, and a cure.

I am the Alaska Advocacy Chair for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and am grateful to Mayor Navarre and the Kenai Peninsula Borough for passing an Awareness Proclamation that recognizes November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

The proclamation will also raise awareness about this devastating disease and encourage our elected officials to make fighting pancreatic cancer a priority. We must support our fellow citizens who have been afflicted by this disease and advocate for greater awareness and more resources to fight pancreatic cancer.

If you have a loved one that is fighting Pancreatic Cancer or have lost someone to this horrible disease, please join me on Oct. 28, 6:00 p.m. at the Assembly meeting to receive this proclamation from Mayor Navarre. I can be reached at 907-299-1519 for details and would be honored to have you stand with me to raise awareness. Wear your purple!