Pancreatic cancer’s visibility raised

It is unacceptable that there is a cancer for which the relative five-year survival rate is still in the single digits at just 6 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 United States 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 the city of Homer for passing an awareness proclamation that recognizes November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.   

The proclamation also will 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 in receiving the proclamation at the Homer City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 27. You can reach me at 299-1519 for details. I would love to have community members stand with me during the presentation. Wear your purple.

Kelly Cooper

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network 

Alaska Advocacy Chair