November Is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

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Pancreatic Cancer

Every November Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) implements a robust local, regional and national agenda of activities aimed to increase awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer. As the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US, pancreatic cancer remains the most under-funded of the five leading cancers in the US. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spent only 1.5% of their $4.7 billion cancer research budget on pancreatic cancer research in 2006.

Legislation recognizing November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month passed in both the United States House and Senate earlier this fall. PanCAN volunteers from around the country played an integral role in reaching out to the legislators that took initiative on the resolution.

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"PanCAN is committed to informing and inspiring Americans to get involved during November, and throughout the year, in the fight against this deadly disease," said Julie Fleshman, President and CEO, The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "Our hope is that by involving more people in our awareness-building and fundraising activities, we will help to positively impact scientific progress in the pancreatic cancer community."

Pancreatic cancer claims more than 33,000 American lives each year, yet scientific advancements -- better diagnostic tools, more effective treatment options and opportunities to find a cure -- remain somewhat stagnant. In fact, pancreatic cancer research is at the same level that breast cancer research was in the 1930s. PanCAN is doing its part to impact change; in fact, PanCAN has committed to funding 37 researchers with $3.5 million in research funds.

Earlier this year, PanCAN hosted a Summit on Pancreatic Cancer. Sixty of the world's leading pancreatic cancer investigators from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Spain, as well as other luminaries of the biological sciences, assembled to discuss different approaches to studying pancreatic cancer and which show the most promise.

"The gathering of these elite scientists demonstrates PanCAN's commitment to moving the science forward, to encourage scientists and researchers to work collaboratively and cooperatively, and to coordinating their efforts to produce discoveries that have the greatest potential to benefit patients," continued Fleshman.

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