It is unacceptable in this day and age that there is a cancer for which the relative five-year survival rate is still in the single digits. It is particularly unacceptable when you consider that the overall five-year relative survival for all cancers is now 67 percent and the overall cancer incidence and death rates are declining, while the incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer, the nation’s fourth leading cause of cancer-related death, are increasing. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of any major cancer, at just six percent. This year alone, this terrible disease will claim the lives of 810 people who live in the state of Washington.
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 a volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in Washington, and am helping to accomplish that goal by introducing an Everett, Washington and Snohomish County Proclamation that recognizes November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
In 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. I was treated at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership in Everett. I am very lucky to be one of the six percent to survive after five years.
The proclamation also calls on Congress to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research &Education Act. The bill has overwhelming bi-partisan support. It is essential that this legislation pass this year. The proclamation will raise awareness about his 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.