MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is holding its Sixth Annual National Advocacy Day. Nearly 650 people traveled to Washington, D.C. to tell their Congressmen and Senators to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/H.R. 733).
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only six percent, the lowest out of all the major cancers. The legislation would require the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to construct a long-term comprehensive strategic research plan that would help develop early detection methods and treatment options for patients and would ultimately increase survival rates for pancreatic cancer.
Lisa Niemi Swayze, the chief ambassador of hope for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network said, "This legislation is crucial to improving the survival rate of those suffering from pancreatic cancer. Simply stated, we can and must do better. We can take a serious step in that direction by passing the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act this year."
In the five years since the bill was first introduced, more than 181,000 Americans have died from pancreatic cancer. Nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and more than 37,000 will die. In fact, 74 percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
"The federal government must have a plan to combat pancreatic cancer. Since the passage of the National Cancer Act over forty years ago, the survival rate has increased from only two percent to six percent. There has been very little scientific advancement in treating pancreatic cancer," stated Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "We need strong, resolute leadership in both the House and the Senate to make the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act a priority and pass the bill by the end of the year.
The legislation currently has strong bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats alike and is co-sponsored by half of the U.S. Senate and more than 245 members of the U.S. House. Additionally, this bill has more co-sponsors and bi-partisan support than any other bill in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions and House Energy & Commerce Committees.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's advocacy efforts, visit www.knowitfightitendit.org.
About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative — The Vision of Progress: Double the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, better treatments and increase chances of survival.
SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network