By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Today, Alabama’s own Holly Caraway and 675 other advocates from around the country are in Washington, DC, painting the Untied States Capitol purple in support of Pancreatic Cancer research. Caraway is part a special group that is advocating on behalf of all of those affected by pancreatic cancer. The group is calling on Congress to develop a strategic plan for pancreatic cancer.
Today is National Call-In Day, www.pancan.org/TakeAction. Caraway is a member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, www.pancan.org, who are asking everyone to call their Senators and Representative to ask them to support the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (S. 362/H.R. 733).
Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The survival rate for Pancreatic cancer has an unchanged survival rate for 40 years which continues to remain at only 6 percent. Seventy-four percent of patients diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer die within the first year of diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits. This low survival rate exists because there is little known about the risk factors, there is no early detection methods and treatment options are extremely limited. That is why research must be conducted.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) only devoted 2.3 percent of its $4.3 billion research budget to pancreatic cancer last year. “This must change if we want to increase the survival rate,” says Caraway.
The Pancreatic Research and Education Act would require the NCI to develop a long-term and comprehensive strategy plan for pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, the bill has a provision encouraging the NCI to develop a grant program for the nation’s deadliest cancers with low survival rates, like pancreatic cancer.
For the Representatives and Senators specifically–we would like them to co-sponsor the bill. Over 240 Representatives and over 50 Senators have co-sponsored the bill, and it has huge bi-partisan support.
Caraway asks that you please call your senator and representative today.