MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is calling on Congress to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/H.R. 733). The bill reached a critical point today with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) signing on as the 50th co-sponsor of the lifesaving legislation and with his support, the bill also has majority of the Senate HELP Committee. The House companion bill has more than half of the House as co-sponsors and a majority of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The bill, introduced in the House by Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and in the Senate by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), will ensure that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) develops a long-term comprehensive strategic plan for developing early diagnostics and treatment options that will increase the survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients.
"With overwhelming bi-partisan support in both the Senate and the House, we must move this legislation forward and call on Congress to pass, without delay, the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/H.R. 733)," stated Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year relative survival rate in the single digits and the survival rate has not improved in nearly 40 years. Congress has the power to change these statistics by passing this critical legislation."
"I'm proud to celebrate the milestone of 50 bi-partisan co-sponsors on the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act," said Senator Whitehouse. "This bill would create a much-needed national strategy on pancreatic cancer research and improve provider and patient education on this terrible disease. I am grateful for the support of my colleagues, and look forward to working with them to advance this legislation."
"I am deeply committed to improving the health of Americans suffering from cancer," said Senator Isakson. "Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer affecting Americans today, but research and support for pancreatic cancer lags far behind that of other types of cancer. I am pleased to lend my support to this bill that will go a long way in ensuring that the fight against pancreatic cancer receives its fair share of research and resources."
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. There are no early detection methods, few effective treatment options and there is no cure. As a result, 74 percent of patients die within a year of diagnosis and just six percent survive beyond five years. Currently, research dedicated to pancreatic cancer receives approximately two percent of the federal dollars distributed by the NCI and there is no national long-term and comprehensive plan for how to improve survival.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, 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.
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SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network