Pancreatic Cancer Plan C = Early Detection
The development of an early detection tool for pancreatic cancer could save thousands of lives!
Researchers have found that after a pancreatic cancer cell develops it takes almost 7 years to progress to the size of a plum with the potential of at least one cell to spread to other organs. When the disease metastasizes most patients die within 2.5 years. The findings that pancreatic cancer grows very slowly contradict what was previously known about the disease.
It takes at least a decade for a mutated pancreatic cell to turn into cancer. Once that happens, it takes another 7 years before the disease would start to spread, using conservative estimates. One factor that makes pancreatic cancer so deadly is that it has typical symptoms—abdominal pain and jaundice—which do not appear until the disease is in an advanced stage. Early detection of this cancer could have such different outcomes!
Without early detection, the statistics are not good, they are actually alarming. Nearly ninety five (95%) percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis, most within the first year. Pancreatic cancer tumors are very different from many others, so specialized research techniques must be
applied. Few patients qualify for surgery and most patients die quickly after diagnosis; scant tissue is available for research. Many patients who might consider participating in clinical trials are too sick to do so or die before they can enroll.
The National Cancer Institute allocates only 2 percent of its $5 billion annual budget for pancreatic cancer research. There is a direct correlation between this meager funding level and the survival rate. This year, close to 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; eighty five (85%) will die from it. Given the lack of funding, senior scientists from other areas of biomedical and cancer research do not have the incentive to apply their knowledge to this disease.
Pancreatic cancer research and funding is where breast cancer was nearly 40 years ago. This is too long to wait for true progress on this cancer. We need to increase private research funding and to ensure that sufficient National Cancer Institute funding is available for all types of cancer, including pancreatic. We must put in place a strategic plan that addresses the research needs for pancreatic cancer.
The Pancreatic Cancer Plan C Foundation promises that ALL donations will be used solely for researching early detection of pancreatic cancer. Please help us make early detection a reality, please help us save lives!