Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month begins in November. Many people may have heard of Pancreatic Cancer but during this awareness month, Surgical Oncologist, Suven Shankar, MD, urges you to help raise awareness by educating yourself, educating others and getting involved.
What is pancreatic cancer?
- Pancreatic cancer is the 8th most common malignancy and the fifth leading cause of adult cancer death in the US.
- Pancreatic cancer can be divided into tumors from exocrine pancreas and endocrine pancreas.
- The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States are for 2014:
- About 46,420 people (23,530 men and 22,890 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- About 39,590 people (20,170 men and 19,420 women) will die of pancreatic cancer
- Rates of pancreatic cancer have been increasing slightly over the past decade or so.
- Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the US, and accounts for about 7% of cancer deaths.
- The average lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 67 (1.5%).
- Etiology is uncertain.
- Pancreatic cancer will surpass breast and colon cancer to become the second leading cause of cancer death around 2020.
How can we raise awareness?
Awareness can be raised by discussing about the cancer not just in November but all through the year.
Its mention in media (TV/Radio/news) is important but also getting together pancreatic cancer patients and survivors to talk about it.
Goals about raising awareness?
- Making the public aware that all pancreatic cancers are not the same.
- Educating the public about the types and it symptoms.
- Understanding different treatment options.
How do we get people involved in Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month?
- Wear purple to support it.
- Get local organizations to arrange for pancreatic cancer talks/walks/ educational material to be given to public etc
- Events to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research