It is unacceptable that the relative five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is still in the single digits: just 6 percent. Even more alarming, pancreatic cancer is anticipated to move from the fourth to second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2020. This year alone, this terrible disease will claim the lives of 850 people who live in 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 and am grateful to Spokane County and the cities of Spokane and Liberty Lake for introducing awareness proclamations that recognize November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
These proclamations will also 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.