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November 21, 2011
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A call for pancreatic cancer research

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — When diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, life expectancy is five to seven months. There is no cure and few treatment options.The good news is: there are some fighters beating the odds in the Tahoe/Reno area!During November, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, several local communities are hosting informational displays that include the faces of friends and family members who have battled pancreatic cancer and passed, plus a handful of very brave survivors.What they all have faced is horrendous, but there are some who are alive and enjoying life. There is hope, but it’s time to broadcast the desperate need for funding and research to find a means of early detection and a cure.When pancreatic cancer is found, it’s usually by accident in the treatment of something else.Stu Jed, a three-year pancreatic cancer survivor, is this year’s Amgen Tour of California Cancer Champion. After two surgeries and six months of chemotherapy, he’s been cancer-free for the past two years. His was the fast growing adenocarcinoma, plus he also had the slower growing (like Steve Jobs) neuroendocrine cancer. Now he advocates locally and in Washington, D.C. for pancreatic cancer legislation, specifically the Pancreatic Cancer Research andamp; Education Act S.362/H.R.733.Bob Silvestri received his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2009 and was given no hope, no options at all. He was told he’d be gone in a few months and to get his affairs in order. His family wouldn’t accept this death sentence and fought with him for his care. Today with each scan, he’s cancer-free and is active in raising awareness about pancreatic cancer. Last week he was in Carson City, Nev. to receive an official City Council proclamation of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.Ken Mannix was diagnosed in 1988. Like so many, Ken’s story begins with a misdiagnosis. He underwent the whipple surgery and miraculously is still enjoying life more than 20 years later. From 1988 to today, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is still only six percent.Don Hay lives in Tahoe City and loves playing golf. His diagnosis was a little over a year ago and he’s currently undergoing chemo in the fight for his life. Don submitted his own photo for the displays as a survivor and plans to beat the odds.Locally, during November, the Pancreatic Cancer displays are in the Reno, Nev. Main Downtown Library, Tahoe City Library, Truckee community Recreation Center, and Incline Village, Nev. Historical Society.“I heard pancreatic cancer was a death sentence — but so fast?” “I didn’t know that there has been no improvement in the odds in 40 years … why is that?” Awareness leads to funding, then research and finally to the cure. To find out how you can help, visit www.pancan.org, or e-mail gjed@pancanvolunteer.org.— Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 21, 2011 07:09PM Published Nov 21, 2011 06:58PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.